Some young voters unswayed by Sanders’ push for Clinton

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016



By Brian Bakst, Hannah Weikel

MPR News/90.1 FM

Bernie Sanders, the surrogate for Hillary Clinton, sounded an awful lot like Sanders the candidate.

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And he had to in a Tuesday campaign stop at the University of Minnesota where he tried convincing his supporters, particularly younger voters, to cast their ballots for Clinton.

However, not all of them are on board to vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee, nor are they excited about the election.

Many polls show Clinton with an edge over Trump with younger voters, commonly referred to as the Millennial bloc. But many of them are also considering third-party candidates or sitting out the election.

Some of that was evident on campus away from the Sanders rally at Northrop Auditorium.

Sophomore Wako Adem said he was impressed with Sanders and the way he ran his campaign.

But a vote for Clinton is out of the question, Adem said, and he doubts he’ll even bother to vote.

“A lot of people will choose her because they think he’s the lesser of the two evils. She’s probably worse than Trump,” he said. “Actually, if I voted I would probably vote for Trump.”

Still, the Vermont Senator made sure to put in a strong pitch for Clinton in Minnesota, where he had both Minneapolis and Duluth stops on Tuesday. Sanders said she’s a much better choice than Republican nominee.

“Our job is to elect Hillary Clinton as president but to also understand that our job is not done just by electing Secretary Clinton,” Sanders said. “On the day after we continue the movement.”

He’s bringing that message to other states where he beat Clinton or ran close to her in their long nomination battle.

Sanders won big in Minnesota’s precinct caucuses in March.

Recent polling showed Clinton ahead in Minnesota, but Trump gaining ground.

During a news conference ahead of the Sanders’ visit, Minnesota State Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey claimed that Democrats are divided.

“Democrats are so worried about Hillary and the tightening of the polls here in Minnesota that they’re making Bernie Sanders come back to Minnesota to try to explain to the 62 percent of Democrats who voted for him in the caucuses why he sold out,” Downey said.

Despite Democrats choosing Sanders in the caucuses, there’s still support for Clinton in the state. That’s also true among U of M students, though it comes with a bit more apprehension.

University graduate student Tyne Alexander says Clinton is far more qualified than Trump and will get her vote.

“She certainly has the commander-in-chief look to her,” Alexander said. “She’s got the business savvy, she’s got the diplomatic experience.”

U senior and history major Ike Sarac will vote for Clinton, he said, “but I’m not exactly thrilled about it.”