Political race heats up in Scranton

Karolina Gomez

As the first presidential debate nears, the country is tuned in to the political season. On Sept. 8 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, gave a speech in Downtown Scranton. Clinton spoke to approximately 100 of her mother’s supporters at the Clinton Scranton Campaign Office.
The crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters gathered inside the office where they waited patiently for Chelsea Clinton.
“There is so much at stake in this election,” Chelsea Clinton said in the speech. “Yes, I am deeply biased toward my mother, but that’s because I know that she is by far the best candidate for president … My mother will make sure we all live in a country that we want our children to grow up in.”
After her speech, reporters from several media outlets including WNEP and CNN were invited to participate in a press conference with Chelsea Clinton. CNN noted that this was a rare event as Clinton does not usually talk to the media.
When asked how likely it was that her mother would win Pennsylvania in the general election, Clinton told The Aquinas, “Oh gosh, all I think about is Sept. 8 — right? That’s today. Tomorrow I’m going to get up and think about Sept. 9. You know we have a lot of work to do between now and Oct. 11 — the registration deadline here in Pennsylvania — between Oct. 11 and Nov. 8 … ”
Sarah Laga, a University sophomore international studies major and secretary of the College Democrats, also attended the event.
“We’re really hoping that our efforts on campus to register voters who are originally from states that would originally go to her such as New York or New Jersey; we hope that those kids will register to vote in Scranton, and hopefully affect her win,” Laga said.
Since the 1991 General Election, Pennsylvania and its current 20 electoral votes have consistently voted Democratic. However, this year Pennsylvania is still considered a “swing state.” A swing state can lean toward either party. A recent Quinnipiac University poll currently has Clinton leading 43 percent to 41 percent over the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
Chelsea Clinton’s anticipated but rather subtle appearance ignited discussion among University students and local residents regarding the upcoming presidential election. Clinton is one of many political figures who have visited the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area this election cycle.
“There are just some people who want to vote Democrat,” Leah MacFarlane, first-year health administration major said. “So they support Hillary just because they want to be in the Democratic party; also they’re widely against Trump.”
In a controversial move on July 5, 2016, FBI director James Comey recommended charges not be filed against Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton in regards to her usage of a private email server. Americans throughout the nation protested this decision, some calling for the resignation of the FBI director.
Senior biology major Douglas Brown shared his thoughts.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily been that big, there’s definitely people that can see past it, some people don’t see it as that big of an issue, and then some people, it’s the biggest issue… she’s one of the most disliked individuals that are running for office.”
Sophomore criminal justice major Ryan Dumais also commented. “In the grand scheme of things, it was just emails, but in the case of Bill Clinton, it was just oral sex, so it may not be major, it may not be a big deal, but when you boil it down, it’s still lies and deception, and that’s what the Clintons are.”
Bob Bolus, owner of Bolus Truck Parts and Towing Services in Scranton, protested outside of the Clinton event last Thursday in hopes to draw attention to the Clinton scandals and controversies. He paid for his nationally recognized “Trump Truck” to park right across the street from the campaign office on N Wyoming Ave. Joining Bolus were several residents that held picket signs that alluded to the scandals that have plagued Secretary Clinton throughout her campaign. Throughout the day, Clinton supporters and the protesters engaged in debates.

“I don’t like somebody that lies, somebody that jeopardizes national security, I don’t like anybody who doesn’t have the respect to throw a guy out, especially the President (Bill Clinton) who disgraces this whole nation with Monica. There are values that he’s supposed to have and uphold and he didn’t, and she accepted them…” Bolus said.

Hillary Clinton made headlines this past weekend as she left a 9/11 Memorial event in New York City early due to medical reasons. Her departure only added to the right-wing rumors that her deteriorating health makes her unfit for the presidency. It was later revealed that she was suffering from pneumonia, however her physician expects her to make a full recovery.

Nationally, Clinton holds a slight lead over Trump at +3% or +4%, NBC’s weekly election tracking poll has her 6 points ahead of Donald Trump. Some political experts have stated that this is the closest general election in recent history, possibly mirroring that of the 2000 Election. The New York Times Upshot predicts an 80% chance of a Democratic victory.

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