In New York debate lead-up, Hofstra University students argue Clinton v Trump

Clinton leads her opponent with millennials, now the largest generation in the US. But even at the liberal school, some students support Trump


Right now Im thinking that I will be voting for Donald Trump, said Kyle Hover. The idea of the Democratic party is more what I dont really fit along with. Yeah, we do need social programs to help the people that need help, but theyre just running rampant in this country right now.

Hover is not a rabid Trump supporter at a rally. He is an 18-year-old computer science major at Hofstra University, in New York where the much-anticipated first presidential debate will be taking place on Monday night.

You might not expect to find many Trump supporters at an allegedly liberal college, but the Republican nominees reach is extensive, despite his litany of offensive comments towards women, ethnic minorities and his various political opponents.

Those are part of the things I dont agree with, Hover said, when asked if he too, feels that Mexico is sending rapists to the US, and if he agrees with Trumps treatment of women.

I do feel that gender equality and racial equality are more towards the top of what I like to see brought out in a presidential campaign, Hover said. The 18-year-old did not find too many issues with Trumps other remarks on the trail.

A recent poll showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 56-20% among those under 35. This year millennials (broadly speaking, people born between 1981 and 1997) overtook the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) as the largest generation in the US.

Hofstra
Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, the site of the first presidential debate. Photograph: Frank Eltman/AP

Shanon Thomas, a 19-year-old womens studies and criminology major, is among those planning to vote for Clinton. Thomas said she wanted to hear the former New York senator address inequality during the debate.

She will do a good job in bringing equality to this country, Thomas said.

Thats the only way we can get ourselves back to being great as opposed to what other candidates think make America great.

She was referencing the baseball hats that Trump has been wearing and selling as part of his campaign. Trumps other business ventures have included a board game, vodka and meat.

An 18-year-old political science major called Doreen, who asked that her last name not be published, said the candidates should focus on racial issues.

I think definitely things regarding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, that definitely is something that needs to be talked about, she said.

Doreen, who is African American, referenced the recent shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I feel scared, she said.

Watching the video of what happened in Tulsa its kind of like that could have been anybody.

That couldve been my dad, that could have been anyone in the world that I know.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/26/debate-hofstra-university-students-argue-hillary-clinton-donald-trump