Hillary Clinton campaigns at GVSU

On the eve of Election Day, Clinton tries to solidify her lead in Michigan

By Audra Gamble | 11/7/16 7:56pm


With mere hours left in the countdown until Election Day, Hillary Clinton held a rally at Grand Valley State University Fieldhouse Arena Monday, Nov. 7.

Featuring all of the Democratic presidential candidate’s most popular lines from the campaign trail, 4,600 GVSU students and West Michigan residents came out to hear Clinton speak before casting their ballots.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Hillary Clinton speaks at Grand Valley State's Fieldhouse Arena on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.

“I want to say, especially to the students that are here, I believe that America’s best days are still ahead of us if we reach for them together,” Clinton said to the crowd. Clinton was introduced by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who encouraged Michiganders to head to the polls on Tuesday.

“Tomorrow, we have the chance for the first time in our country’s history to truly show every little girl that just like her brother, she can dream the biggest dreams and make them happen,” Stabenow said.

The vast majority of the rally attendees were Clinton supporters, though a handful of Donald Trump supporters held signs and chanted outside the rally. Shouts of “lock her up” were drowned out by chants of “Hillary” before the event began.

Though Michigan’s Electoral College votes have gone to the Democratic presidential candidate consistently since 1992, the state is currently in play for both Trump and Clinton. The most recent statewide EPIC-MRA poll shows Clinton polling at 42 percent, with Trump at 38 percent. With a margin of error of 4 percent, the two major party candidates are at a statistical tie in Michigan, battling it out for the state’s 16 electoral votes.

Kevin Sielaff | Grand Valley Lanthorn

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Hillary Clinton takes the stage with Senator Debbie Stabenow at Grand Valley State's Fieldhouse Arena on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.

While Clinton will continue on to a midnight rally in North Carolina, Trump will end his campaign’s scheduled events in Grand Rapids with an 11 p.m. rally with his running mate Mike Pence at DeVos Place Monday, Nov. 7.

Clinton spoke about eliminating student debt, establishing paid family leave and growing jobs for small businesses.

“I loved the ‘women’s rights are human rights’ line,” said Shannon Maisel, an Allendale resident. “That was a very beautiful thing to feel. I’m glad my daughters were here to see a woman running for president and as the best possibility.”

While many of the people attending the rally have already decided to vote for Clinton, some were waiting until the last minute to make up their minds.

GVSU freshman Hunter Harding said he is planning on attending both the Clinton and Trump rallies.

“It’s important as a citizen to educate yourself on someone who could potentially be leading your country,” Harding said. “I came as an open-minded person, and I also plan on attending the Trump rally tonight to get a feel for both sides.”

While Clinton’s speech was met with cheers and raucous applause inside Fieldhouse Arena, latecomers voiced their opinions while waiting to get a glimpse of the former secretary of state leaving the event.

“I wanted to see her because she’s running for office. It’s not every day you see the Antichrist in person,” said Grandville, Michigan resident Roger Bouwman, who wore a “Hillary for prison” T-shirt to the rally. “There’s just a lot of things I question about (Clinton’s) judgment. I’ve been leaning toward Trump.”

Kevin Sielaff | Grand Valley Lanthorn

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Hillary Clinton speaks at Grand Valley State's Fieldhouse Arena on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.

Voting locations will be open throughout the state from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your place of polling, visit the Michigan Secretary of State website.

“When your kids and grandkids ask what you did in 2016 when everything was on the line, I hope you’ll be able to say you voted for a better America,” Clinton said as she ended her rally. “An America where we build bridges, not walls, and yes, an America where love trumps hate.”

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