Author of “The Selfie Vote” Speaks Out About 2016 Presidential Election

Author and Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson stopped by to talk about polling, millennials, and what could seemingly be labeled the most interesting election yet. Here is her seven second take:

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Second 1: Anderson is a millennial herself, though she is hesitant to admit it. She carefully placed space between her age and ours while she spoke. Anderson never anticipated falling into her current line of work. A graduate thesis and a passion for Washington D.C. put her on the path of polling, political contributing, and a book deal among other endeavors. A strong voice for the millennial generation.

Second 2: As for her take on young voters, they care more than you think. Anderson recalled comments made that millennials are unreachable when it comes to politics. For Anderson these comments do not ring true. Instead she sees 80 million millennials, one force that can reshape an election.

Second 3: So how does one reach these lucrative voters? Anderson does not think that the Democratic party has hit the nail on the head just yet, frustrated with the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton campaign. Anderson referenced her frustration in the article Stop trying to make Chillary Happen. She recalled Clinton’s requests for young voters to “Pokémon Go to the polls” and explain how their student debt made them feel in three emojis or less. Anderson’s advice to Clinton:

“Quit trying so hard,” Anderson said. “Just be yourself.”

Second 4: As for the Republican nominee Donald Trump’s efforts, Anderson considered them to be either non-existent or counterproductive. Though, she did give a nod to Trump for being the more technologically savvy out of the two.

“The medium does not trump the message,” Anderson said. “No pun intended.”

Second 5: So how do the candidates tip the scale and reign in the millennial vote this year? Speak to young voters at the level they are currently at. According to Anderson, this includes understanding their moral lens, distrust of big institutions, adversity to labels and pragmatism.

Second 6: The real question is what does this election come down to? For Anderson, it is numbers and certain states. Trump needs 269 electoral votes to push the decision to the House of Representatives. This is easier said than done according to Anderson’s analysis.

“Trump needs everything to go right in that one narrow path to win,” Anderson said.

Second 7: In the end, Anderson is optimistic that Trump will not win this election cycle.

“Democrats fall in love,” Anderson said. “Republicans fall in line.”

Clinton does not have an easy fight either in Anderson’s eyes.

“Young women are not giving bonus points based on someone’s gender,” Anderson said.

This year’s election is up in the air, causing Anderson’s closing statement to never ring more true:

“Your vote matters.”

Florida Focus News Brief Oct. 11, 2016

In this episode: Florida voter registration has been extended; Bill Clinton comes to Safety Harbour tonight while Donald Trump plans to campaign in Lakeland tomorrow; Hurricane Matthew has caused 80 insurance claims in Bay area counties; clown costumes have been pulled from local Goodwill shelves; the Tampa Police Department pays tribute to Lois Marrero.




Trump Rally Sells Out Sundome

With the Florida primaries just four weeks away, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump made his first visit to the Bay area.

Trump held a rally at the University of South Florida’s Sundome in front of a sellout crowd of 11,000. Many of those in attendance were students.

Mark Stutzman, a graduate student at USF, was one of the first in line at the rally, arriving nearly eight hours before doors opened.

“We’re here to see the next President of the United States.” Stutzman said. “I like the excitement he brings to the political process. We’ve had the same type of people running over and over again that make empty promises.”

Trump’s visit came just three days after his win in the New Hampshire primary. He focused on many of the issues that have kept him atop the polls in nearly every state.

His visit was met with opposition, however, as hundreds gathered outside the venue in protest of Trump’s visit. One protester made their way inside and briefly interrupted the rally. They were quickly removed from the building at the direction of Trump.

Trump spoke for nearly an hour. He concluded with a signature Trump message.

“We’re gonna make America great again. We’re gonna win all the time. We’re gonna bring our country back and we’re gonna be proud, once again, to be citizens of this great country.” Trump said.

The Florida primaries are March 15.


Trump’s proponents and opponents get together at the USF Sun Dome


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump brought the unexpected to the University of South Florida, himself. Word spread fast after Trump announced that his campaign stop in Florida would be held at the Sun Dome.

Just days before the rally, Trump won the New Hampshire primary. He has been recognized for his controversial statements throughout his candidacy.

USF students had a variety of responses.

“I believe him being on the campus might make us look kind of bad, considering USF prides itself on being one of the most diverse schools in Florida,” student protester Amanda Lynn Hill said. “A lot of minority groups are really offended by the fact that he’s here.”

A large amount of student supporters showed up for the event as well. Though doors did not open until 5 p.m., Trump’s proponents lined up early and were ready to be vocal about their candidate.

“I like the excitement he brings to the political process, I believe that we’ve been stuck too long, having the same types of people running over and over again making empty promises backed by corporations,” Trump supporter and USF graduate student Mark Stutzman said.

There was also a substantial amount of people who showed up as mere spectators. Given Trump’s near constant media presence, it was certainly one of the most-talked about event of the weekend.

“I wanted to see him in person,” USF student Evan Ales said. “First of all, it’s a great opportunity, if he does happen to be president, that’d be cool if I got to see the president, or the preemptive president.”

Trump rally creates chaos among attendees

Donald Trump made his first appearance in Florida since winning Super Tuesday when he appeared at the University of Central Florida in front of a 5,000 person crowd. Trump’s speech was more of the same rhetoric, talk without any substance. The speech, however, did cause approximately 30 attendees to erupt in protest.


Saturday Night Live, Donald Trump creates controversy

Over the years, Saturday Night Live has been involved in many racism scandals over its four decades on the air. The award-winning sketch series is under fire again after they announced that presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is known for his recent racist comments, will be hosting the show Nov. 7.

The announcement caused people to question whether the show and its network, NBC, truly believes in the racial stereotypes they seem to perpetuate, or if it’s just a ratings game.

via Creative Commons

Last year, Saturday Night Live came under fire for their race issues after their decision to hire six white actors stirred up conversation about the lack of diversity in the show’s cast. At the time, there were no black women and only two black men on the show.

As pointed out by National Public Radio, the lack of diversity in the cast is representative of the bigger picture.

“It’s true that talented performers can and should be allowed to play characters of different ethnicities and cultures. But there’s a long history in American entertainment of locking out talented performers of color by letting white entertainers play racial and ethnic minorities. In the 21st century, it would be nice to see a sketch comedy show with 16 cast members find a way to allow a Latino or black performer to play such characters, at least occasionally.”

After people began noticing Saturday Night Live’s exclusion of black women, producers decided to hold an audition with a concentration on minority women in early 2014. They hired two female, African-American writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

During this same time period, they also hired another African- American woman, Sasheer Zamata, as an on-stage performer and promoted a young black man, Michael Che, to a more important role as the co-anchor on their famous Weekend Update segment.

With all of the racially diverse additions to Saturday Night Live, one might think that would be the end of their racial insensitivity, but their decision to have presidential candidate Donald Trump host the show on Nov. 7 has put them under fire yet again.

According to a recent NPR article, there could be an ulterior motive behind the decision:

“Donald Trump’s upcoming appearance hosting SNL has drawn the ire of Latino groups, who note the show is featuring someone who has made bigoted comments about Mexican immigrants at a time when there are no Latino cast members on the program. This isn’t a new problem for SNL; there have only been two Latino members in the show’s 40-year history.

Trump’s return to the SNL hosting gig comes months after NBC dumped the GOP front-runner as host of its Celebrity Apprentice series and dropped participation in his Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. The reason, according to a statement from NBC in July: ‘derogatory statements by Trump regarding immigrants.’

Before Trump’s SNL hosting gig, he’ll appear in a town hall Monday on NBC hosted byToday show anchor Matt Lauer. There’s a sense here that NBC is mending fences with its onetime star; given his status as GOP front-runner and media magnet, ratings and relevance seemed to have, um, trumped concerns about any past ‘derogatory statements.'”

This poses the question: Are the makers of Saturday Night Live showing racial prejudice or are ratings and fame more important than issues of race?