By Halee Powers | OUCovers16 Reporter | @haleestorm12
DURHAM, N.C.-Millennials, who packed a courtyard at the North Carolina Central University here, one of 16 historically black universities in this state, attending the Early Vote Rally didn’t need much to stroke their enthusiasm.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and U.S. senator from neighboring Virginia, also known as ”America’s Dad,” would do just fine because the crowd exploded in cheers as he walked on stage earlier this week.
Kaine said he was just the vanguard of Hillary Clinton supporters that will be stumping in the Tar Heel state in the coming days. Among those coming he said are President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Clinton, herself.
“Because you [residents of North Carolina] are important and we got to win North Carolina,” says Kaine.
The courtyard, surrounded by historical school buildings, slowly filled with at least 150 people. They gathered around the stage and waited in anticipation for Kaine to speak.
With big dreams of being a congressman for North Carolina, Tyler Walker, a 19-year-old, political science major, attended the rally after following the election since the primaries.
Since the beginning of the election cycle, Walker has viewed the Republican Party as desperate for a change.
“What I’ve noticed on the other side of the ticket is everyone is so eager to get Obama out, that they were going to elect any manner of foolish,” said Walker.
As a supporter of Clinton, Walker was fully confident that the Democratic candidate would be the next president.
“[The rally] reaffirmed my belief that the Democratic Party is a party of diversity and that there are people who support us,” said Walker.
Walker believes that Clinton will be the next president of the United States. He recognizes that North Carolina is a state that is in play for this presidential election.
“I believe that North Carolina is an important state,” said Walker. “If we win this, it’s over.”
Clinton’s campaign has already grabbed many voters’ attention. Julia Mason, a 23-year-old medical assistant, already has attended four rallies during this election.
“I have always been a Democrat and I’m a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton and I’m really excited about Tim Kaine,” said Mason. “It’s the excitement of it all, feeling like I’m being a part of this election which is so important.”
With Republican nominee, Donald Trump, losing trust among people in the United States, Clinton has started gaining ground in multiple states.
Some people in North Carolina are starting to trust Clinton and their decision to vote for her because of Trump’s accusations. Clinton is causing inspiration and giving motivation to her voters.
“I’ve gotten to hear Hillary Clinton speak and it was one of the most surreal experiences,” Mason said. “Having someone that admirable standing in front of you doing important things in front of your face.”
Millennials are raising the issues of gender and racial equality and at the rally they felt that Tim Kaine reassured them of their goals of their party.
“We understand that it is 2016 and we can’t keep going backwards,” Walker said. “We believe in voters rights, we believe in the right to choose, we believe in protecting minority groups. We need to fight for that and I think that is what Hillary stands for and that is why I attended this rally.”
Halee Powers is a senior online journalism major at the University of Oklahoma. Halee hopes to be able to travel the world covering gymnastics. The senior covered the millennial perspective of the general election on the east cost and the Hurricane Matthew recovery in North Carolina.