Chelsea Clinton, days after having her ailing mom over for a quick pick-me-up in New York City, came to North Carolina to campaign in her mother’s name, and to rally the millennial voters Hillary Clinton will need to carry her over the finish line in the Tar Heel state.
The latest Quinnipiac University poll found Clinton up four points over Donald Trump, with 47 percent of voters saying they’d likely vote for her. That changes slightly when you throw in Gary Johnson as a third-party candidate, but we’ll get to that later.
Last month’s Public Policy Polling results showed out of likely voters in North Carolina, 55 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump’s unfavorability at the time was 58 percent. (That’s the same poll where 19 percent of voters said they thought Hillary Clinton was the devil, but you know, can’t win ‘em all.)
Anyway. It’s no secret that voters don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and Chelsea knows that. But Chelsea, one presumes, also knows the Hillary that we don’t. So, we wanted to know, what are the rest of us missing?
Chelsea Clinton spoke with the INDY prior to making remarks at Beyu Caffe in downtown Durham, to celebrate the grand opening of a campaign office across the street in the Southbank Building. The campaign stop highlighted her mother's plans for college affordability—which is something her father, former President Bill Clinton, spoke about last week in Durham, too.
“Beyond my husband, there is no one I trust more than my mom,” Chelsea says. “She is my example as a role model, particularly now as a working mom. So I recognize that I have a unique perspective. … But I also can’t really imagine why people don’t see the person I have been lucky to literally know my whole life.”
Beyond blood ties, Chelsea was quick to mention that some of Hillary’s “most emphatic surrogates” were the men and women she’s worked with for years—in some cases, longer than Chelsea has been alive. If they trust her, Chelsea argues, so should you. The same goes for President Obama: “When he asked her to be secretary of state, it was a huge signal of trust.”
Then there are the millennials—perhaps the most important demographic Hillary needs to court in the upcoming elections. And some of them think having to choose between Clinton and Donald Trump, as The Washington Post reports, “feels like a joke.”
During the primaries, millennials were by and large fighting the good fight for Bernie Sanders. Sanders was gracious in his defeat; his supporters, not so much. (Come at me, Bernie bros.) But now they have some choices. In North Carolina, the Q poll found that Gary Johnson would pick up 15 percent of the vote, though he seems to pull roughly equally from both Trump and Clinton. Elsewhere, though, millennials who might normally be backing the Democrat are voting third party—and that poses a risk for Clinton.
Chelsea’s aware of her mother’s “millennial problem.” And she sees a few ways to fix it.
First, register to vote.
“I hope they're registered to vote, because we think only about fifty-five percent of eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds are registered to vote,” Chelsea says. “So that means that millions of the youngest millennials are not registered.” (OK, seriously, regardless of your politics, if you’re reading this and aren’t registered to vote, do it, plz).
Chelsea continues, circling back to campaign talking points: “Think about what’s really at stake in this election. Think about who is best going to be able to deliver what’s most important to them. My mother has a far more comprehensive college affordability plan. ... Donald Trump doesn’t even have a college affordability plan.”
Chelsea went on to talk about his mother’s long record of family and women’s issues, including abortion rights and paid family leave (on which Donald Trump very recently got religion), which she believes should speak not just to millennials but to progressives in general.
“I think kind of what someone has done is a good indication of what they will do,” Chelsea says. “What someone has focused on is an indication of what they will focus on. And she has a good record for all the issues that I think so many progressives often think are most important.”