As Election Day draws closer, the Hillary Clinton campaign has been ramping up efforts in the Biggest Little City to mobilize supporters and seize votes. In what the Clinton campaign dubbed “Glass Breakers Week,” women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem spoke at the University of Nevada, Reno, to a group of first-generation Latina students, and vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine gave a speech on campus to energize voters in the Battle Born State.
Steinem emphasizes importance of Latina vote
In a small room at UNR’s Latino Research Center, Steinem spoke to a group of passionate first-generation Latina students. Steinem was there to campaign for Clinton, but she had a deeper conversation with the group about the importance of their votes in the upcoming election.
“This is the first election that I am aware of which the Latina vote could decide the presidency,” Steinem said. “And it depends on turnout because so far the Latina vote is the least likely to turn out, less likely than the African-American vote or the Asian-American vote, but this election could make all the difference.”
According to Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public on issues and trends, a record 27.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the 2016 presidential election, an increase since the 2012 election in which 23.3 million Latinos were eligible to vote.
In July, Pew reported Clinton had a 66 percent approval rating among Latino voters, while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had a 24 percent approval rating.
According to Pew, Clinton is more popular among Latino women than men. Steinem told the crowd that historically Latinas have a larger voter turnout than their Latino counterparts.
Steinem said she sees Clinton as the only qualified candidate because she is the only candidate who understands violence against females should be an element in all of U.S. domestic and foreign policy.
“If you look at her life history, she is extraordinary,” Steinem said. “She was standing up against the Vietnam War in her commencement speech as a graduating senior. She then went to work for the rights of children; she went to reform the school system in Arkansas. What she has accomplished and what she has done is incredible. Nobody has been so well-prepared to be president.”
Kaine highlights differences between Clinton, Trump
In his speech to a larger group of UNR students, faculty and community members, Kaine also spoke of Clinton’s qualifications over Trump and the broad differences between the two on several issues historically important to millennial voters.
“Do you believe in climate science or don’t you? If you do, Hillary and I are with you. The other guys are against you,” Kaine said. “Do you believe women should be able to make their own health-care decisions? If you do, Hillary and I are with you. The other guys are against you.”
Kaine also spoke on the topic of affordable education, discussing the stark differences between Clinton’s plan for debt- and tuition-free college for households that make less than $125,000 a year and Trump’s experience with higher education, Trump University.
“Hillary Clinton looks at education as the great lifter and the great leveler; this is how people get the skills they need to be successful and it also helps all of society to be successful, our economy be strong,” Kaine said. “Donald Trump looks at education and he has a different thought — hey, I think I can make some money out of this.”
Trump University has been accused of fraudulent practices and is involved in lawsuits claiming the company’s involvement in illegal practices.
“There’s a lesson there for people who are thinking about voting for Trump,” Kaine said. “People who trust Trump tend to get hurt. Don’t be tricked by Trump.”
Despite Kaine’s attacks on the GOP presidential nominee, Trump supporters stood outside the entrance to the event to try to convince audience members of Clinton’s corruption.
“I’m hoping to make people aware that Hillary is not [fit] for president,” said Caroline Smith, an avid Trump supporter. “She hasn’t done anything for the last 30 years, and she’s not going to do anything as president.”
A recent Monmouth University poll showed Trump holding a 2-point lead over Clinton in Nevada, a result within the margin of error.
Clinton has campaign events scheduled throughout this month and next in preparation for early voting. Early voting for Nevadans begins next month.