With less than a week until the highly anticipated 2016 presidential election, the Clinton campaign is preparing for an intense effort to get out the vote on Penn’s campus as well as across Pennsylvania.
In a new USA Today/Ipsos poll, Clinton is at 68 percent and Trump at 20 percent on a four-way race among millennials. Clinton’s level of support with young voters is higher than President Barack Obama’s mark from 2008 (66 percent) and 2012 (67 percent).
Clinton’s challenge will be to get those who support her to come out to the polls.
She holds a clear advantage over Trump in terms of a professionalized ground organization that has been building and working for years to support her.
Clinton and her fellow Democrats have more than 50 offices in Pennsylvania, more than half a dozen in Philadelphia alone. The Trump campaign, on the other hand, has 12 offices in the state and only one headquarters in Philadelphia.
Student organizers, including Penn Democrats and Penn for Hillary, are mobilizing their fellow students to help with voter registrations, phone banks and canvassing. Co-President of Penn for Hillary and College senior Sam Iacobellis said every door will be knocked on on-campus during the four days going into the election.
The only potential thorn in the Clinton campaign’s side is the SEPTA workers strike, which if still active on Election Day may limit turnout. On Oct. 31, Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) visited last-minute negotiations to remind union members that “Hillary Clinton’s guy, Corey Dukes (director of the candidate’s Pennsylvania campaign), had a little concern,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Overall, millennial turnout is not strong, but I think our job here is to make sure that if that is the general rule, then we are the exception,” Iacobellis said. “Political activity across the board has been heightened this election season. I am confident that students are going to be excited to vote because it is such a pivotal election.”
Hillary for Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Democrats have been mobilizing and organizing millennials support across college campuses by talking about key issues that are pertinent to their generation. Campaign volunteers said that these include making college affordable, tackling student debt and raising the minimum wage.
According to the latest large scale survey of millennials by the Harvard Institute of Politics, under half of 18 to 29-year-olds — 49 percent — said they would “definitely” vote this year, almost identical to the 48 at this point in 2012.
“This is my opinion personally but if you don’t vote then you don’t have a right to a political opinion. Your vote is your voice,” Iacobellis said. “We treat our right to vote flippantly but there [have] been people who have fought and died in our history so that all Americans can exercise their right to vote.”