By Rheid Wilson
How have the campaigns of the two major party candidates focused their efforts on attracting college-age voters?
Democrat Hillary Clinton holds an average 10 point lead in the race for Michigan, according to the latest Real Clear Politics polling data. Michigan holds 16 Electoral College votes.
Many college age voters are concerned about the baggage that both Donald Trump and Clinton carry. “I feel like each one is so tarnished that there is no clear choice,” said Tyler Eddy, a 19-year-old freshman WMU student business major.
With only two weeks left until Election Day, each campaign is making its pitch to earn more college votes. Trump says he would eliminate federal government profit from student loans and Clinton says she would reduce student loans.
Francis Finnis, a High school teacher in Michigan, expressed her students’ concerns. “The students I teach are most concerned if they can afford college education, and if they will have a job after graduating.”
For many students, the cost of college education is what they are most worried about going forward. “I have already taken out my student loans and I’m ok with that. I just want to choose the right person who will help my younger brother out with his loans when he get to college,” said Maryanne Eddy, a 21-year-old junior KVCC student.
Clinton says she will work to make community college tuition free, while Trump says college endowments must be changed. As far as making efforts to lure the college vote, both Clinton and Trump have made what they believe are viable solutions to the college cost issue.
In a recent GenForward poll, Clinton leads Trump among young likely voters 60 percent to 19 percent.
“Polls can be accurate and can also lie,” said Sean Jacobs, a 35-year-old former Bernie Sanders campaign worker in Michigan. “The most important thing about gaining votes is the connection you make with those who are casting the votes.”
Even though there is not much time left to campaign, there are still ways both Trump and Clinton can hurt themselves in gaining the college vote, according to Mlive.
“With the 2005 tape of Trump and the WikiLeaks on Clinton, both campaigns have done recent damage to what they hoped would have been a strong finish,” said Jacobs. “Their only hope now is to point out how much worse the other is.”
Young voters will play their part in electing the next President. “I’ll vote and I’ll stand by my choice even if they lose,” said Pete Montoya, a 20-year-old local resident voting for Trump. “And I’ll know that I voted how I believed and no one can take that away from me.”