Republican nominee faced hurdles with minority voters

Over the course of the year and a half that Republican candidate Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency he voiced his opinions on numerous issues from taxes to foreign policy to job creation.

But no issue became more closely tied to the candidate than illegal immigration.

On the day that Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, he described the wall he promised to build along the border with Mexico and spoke of plans to deport illegal immigrants.

Toward the end of the election, Trump’s remarks about minority groups and women continued to attract attention and scrutiny by the media as his campaign was forced to disavow an endorsement from the KKK and Trump had to explain a lewd Access Hollywood video.

“I was very curious to find out how he had reacted to the election, whichever way it went,” freshman Gabe Brittain said. “In general, I think he was a very flawed character, certainly as a political candidate.”

Trump had repeatedly made comments in interviews, debates and statements during his rallies that some Americans, especially those from minority groups, took offense to.

“No one’s appearance or gender or ethnicity should ever affect whether or not they have a certain position,” junior Hunter Koch said. “Everyone should be treated equally in all respects of life, including in the workplace and in their families.”

“Pig,” “dog,” “slob,” and “disgusting animal” were just a few of the names Megan Kelly from Fox News called Trump out for using to talk about women during the Republican debate on Aug. 6.

In response to Kelly’s question, Trump claimed that he did not have time for political correctness and did not remember the remarks she was referencing.

Trump repeatedly called for an end to political correctness. Instead, he called for the nation to spend more time focusing on the issues the nation is facing.

“Donald Trump wasn’t the best candidate we’ve ever had, but I supported him nonetheless,” senior Hannah Corn said. “His opinion on political correctness made sense. Too many people have become too worried about political correctness to realize the problems within our country. But I do think he definitely needed to learn how to how to think a little more before he opened his mouth.”

Following his big win in Indiana on May 3, Trump spoke at Trump Tower in New York City where he delivered a promise to bring unity to the Republican party. He faced critical obstacles to achieving his goals, especially among women and minority voters.

According to a survey done by The Atlantic, seven in 10 women viewed him unfavorably. Another poll by Gallup, found that 77 percent of Hispanics and 86 percent of African-Americans had a negative attitude toward Trump.

“I feel like he made women and minorities to be lower than himself,” senior Gabby Burnette said. “He showed no respect for women and minorities and when he tried to mention them in his campaign plans it typically came out as more offensive than helpful.”

Immigration had been one of Trump’s main focuses throughout his campaign. When announcing his presidential bid in June 2015, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

One of his bolder proposals called for building a large wall along the border of the United States and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out of the country.

According to a CNN/ORC poll, six in 10 voters opposed building a wall along the entire border with Mexico. 74 percent did not think that Mexico would willingly pay for the construction of the wall, as Trump had suggested.

“He was sort of implying that they don’t really have a reason to come and don’t need to be here,” Brittain said. “Most people coming into the country, that I’m aware of, are fleeing from the violence and the rape and drugs that Trump claimed they were bringing in.”

Hispanics were not the only minority group Trump had made comments about.

In a campaign press release issued in December 2015, Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” His message came in the wake of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that was carried out by two American citizens who pledged allegiance to ISIS.

“I don’t think the ban would be the solution to our problems or anyone else’s,” junior Shannon Sellers said. “We shouldn’t prevent innocent people from traveling to the U.S. or seeking refuge from ISIS here. Fifty years from now we don’t want our children to look back and ask us why we didn’t do more to aid helpless people in need.”

In the weeks following his call for a complete shutdown of Muslim immigration, Trump’s campaign insisted that we was pivoting away from the blanket ban.

“His campaign was really driven by racial appeals,” senior Alyzah Sibayan said. “If he changes the way he speaks about women and minorities throughout his presidency, I think people’s opinion towards him will improve.”

By: Sofia Molina

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