Florida, North Carolina HBCUs Are Ground Zero in Final Hours Leading Up To Presidential Election

Battleground state campuses encourage mass turnout, inform local communities.

Battleground state campuses encourage mass turnout, inform local communities.

A Hampton University poll released today shows a four-percent lead for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican challenger Donald Trump, the last likely poll that the university Center for Public Policy will conduct in the final hours leading up to tomorrow’s election.

Hampton’s polling has run matched the ebb and flow of the news cycle over the last several months in tracking Virginia voters’ attitudes and intentions during the campaign. But the HU poll is just one of the ways black colleges are shaping the potential outcome of the presidency in critical swing states like Florida and North Carolina.

FLORIDA

After an appearance last week by Clinton at Bethune-C0okman University’s homecoming, campus officials today announced its designation as a key site in the state’s efforts to mobilize voter turnout. Students led a 1.4 mile walk to City Island Library last week for early voting.

Florida A&M University hosted Vice-President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden on campus in a rally to encourage voting among students and Tallahassee community members.

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Their appearance marked an increase among Democratic early voting tallies in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, where last month President Barack Obama addressed supporters at Florida Memorial University to campaign for Clinton.

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NORTH CAROLINA

While Clinton and Trump made whirlwind tours through North Carolina, Clinton and campaign surrogates made a strategic stop at North Carolina Central University last week to speak out against Republican policies which sought to disenfranchise black voters. From the News & Observer:

“Every social movement, every economic advance has only come about because people were willing to work and sacrifice and keep pushing forward in the face of adversity,” Clinton said. “It’s not easy. There are still powerful interests trying to push us back and push us down.

“It is now our turn to stand up to people like your governor and your legislature who wanted to shut you down and push you back.”

Campuses like Shaw University have organized early voting drives and transit to polls leading up to election day, but have been stifled by the dramatic reduction in early voting sites, and specifically those in proximity to HBCU campuses.

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