Young Trump Voters Are Making Campus Great Again

by Christopher Paslay

Voters age 18 to 29 are one of two demographics nationwide that may hold the key to Trump’s re-election.

Trump’s push to win young voters is in high gear. On Monday, Trump’s re-election campaign launched a “Make Campus Great Again” program at the University of Akron. According to the Daily Wire:

The program kicked off at the University of Akron on Monday, with more than 50 students from that school and Cleveland State University, Walsh University, and Kent State University gathered at an event to show support for Trump and get trained on registering voters for the 2020 election. The program is managed by Trump Victory, a joint entity between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, working with the Ohio Federation of College Republicans. The two groups teamed up to launch a Trump Victory Leadership Initiative throughout Ohio colleges and universities to train and recruit campus activists for the president’s re-election efforts.

Support for Trump on college campuses is growing, with Millennials leading the charge.  According to the latest issue of Newsweek:

But the more than a dozen young Trump supporters who spoke to Newsweek were firm in their commitment to the president and clear about their reasons. They don’t consider Trump racist and reject that label for themselves as well. They’re sick of “cancel culture”—when critics on social media call for a boycott of someone who has said or done something deemed offensive—and political correctness. “We’ve had it shoved in our faces all day every day, in school and then from the pop culture,” Isabel Brown, a graduate of Colorado State University, told Newsweek in July. They don’t share the attraction to socialism that seems to be felt by many in their cohort. And Trump’s unfiltered personality delights them.

They see themselves in the role traditionally played politically by the young: They are the rebels, the non-conformists, willing to stand up for what they believe in opposition to the establishment. Only this time, the establishment—on campus and in the broader society—is a culture that demands lockstep obedience to what Brown calls “far left ideas.” For whatever reason, she says, most people her age “aren’t rebellious, and aren’t even particularly thoughtful. They feel the need to adhere to a politically correct ‘progressive’ agenda.” In this environment, she argues, “true rebellion is simply to say, ‘I disagree.’ I think conservatives were expected to be quietly polite, and we expected people would be quietly polite in return. Now we’ve learned that unless you boldly fight for what you believe in, the culture and the country will look very different.” . . .

The Trump campaign won 37 percent of the youth vote in 2016 in a campaign that was shambolic and underfunded. It will not be this time. Trump 2020 has already raised more than $125 million and the campaign is making a concerted effort to target young voters in battleground states. Parscale, who headed Trump’s digital media effort in 2016, says this will happen via social media, his forte, but also with “traditional boots-on-the-ground type organizing.”

In both the virtual and real-world efforts, the campaign will have considerable help from outside groups—support it didn’t have in 2016. One of them is Turning Point USA, founded seven years ago by Charlie Kirk, then 18. TPUSA has a 501c4 (tax-exempt, social welfare organization) sister group, Turning Point Action, which also runs Students For Trump. The group organizes what Kirk calls “conservatives” on college campuses across the country, but “conservative” in this sense means Trump supporters. The group has more than 1,000 college chapters and claims more than 40,000 members. Kirk will lead them next year in an effort that he acknowledges is based on the 2012 “Obama for America” campaign targeting young voters. The Turning Point effort will be as much about “clip boards and tennis shoes” on campus as it is about social media, in what Kirk vows will be an “unprecedented” effort to muster the pro-Trump vote on campuses across the country. “There’s never been a pro-GOP effort at this scale before, targeting young voters,” he says. “This can be done. We will make a difference.”

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