The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

The Hustler speaks with NBC’s Hallie Jackson about the election

NBC News/Frank Thorp

With Election Day coming up on Tuesday, people around the country are awaiting to find out who will be the next president of the United States. The Hustler was able to talk by phone with Hallie Jackson, who has been covering the Trump campaign for NBC.

What has surprised you the most this election?

What has been pleasantly surprising is the extraordinarily high level of interest that people all over the country have had in the election for a long time. I’ve been on the road for about a year and a half and will tell you for most of that time, people want to hear about it, want to talk about it, want to look at the coverage, and know more about the candidates. I’m excited about [Tuesday] because I think we’ll see a lot of people really glued in to what’s happening in exit polls, and where we see the night going as it unfolds because there has been such a high level of interest. So we are full steam ahead focused on Tuesday and Wednesday too because the day after the election will be almost as interesting and just as important.

Where do you think policies for millennials and college students lie on Donald Trump’s priorities list?

I think for both parties it is something that they need to talk about and that they are talking about. For Hillary Clinton what has been interesting is what you would call the Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren effect. She’s had to direct more of her message toward millennials because that is the natural constituency for somebody like a Sanders. So you do hear for example about student loans, which is highly important to millennials all around the country, and climate change. I think Donald Trump touches on those issues but focuses more on immigration, national security, terrorism and speaking more to veterans and members of the military. You see him doing rallies in more rural areas instead where he has a natural base of support. I think it has been an interesting contrast between the two candidates. In speaking to Republican operatives from outside of the campaign though, the GOP is aware of the importance getting young people inside the tent.


How do you think platforms like social media have allowed us to pick the media we consume?

There’s been talk about echo chambers being created on things like Facebook because you are only posting or reposting pieces that confirm your own opinion. I actually think that is a bit of a misnomer. I think there is evidence that shows that people generally get a pretty good diet, a cross section of information on social media. Where I think social media has become really important in getting information out to different audiences, people who might not necessarily tune into nightly news because they are working or because either don’t have cable or whatever reason. I think what has also struck me is generally the level of political discourse on social media everyone is talking about politics – that’s good sometimes and bad sometimes.

Both candidates use social media differently but has the social media use of both candidates come up in your time on the campaign trail?

How could it not when you have Donald Trump, the most famous presidential nominee tweeter of all time. His Twitter and Facebook reach is in the millions and Hillary Clinton has a big reach as well, but they use the platforms very differently. Trump made a name for himself in this campaign by being active on Twitter. Tweets can drive news because of what he says. You see that less with Hillary Clinton’s campaign because she’s a different kind of candidate and I think there is a very stark contrast between their social media pages. I think towards the waning days of this campaign, as we head into the final stretch here, you’ve seen Donald Trump chill out on Twitter. Especially in the early days of the general election through the primary, it was fascinating to watch how he upended the traditional way that politicians talk to their audience. We’ve seen often in the last for years how politicians use social media more and more but it’s been generally been more of a deliberative or controlled way. Trump is very raw and tweets and says what he wants.

Could you compare and contrast younger supporters for both candidates?

I think younger voters, millennials if you will, on both sides have a ton of energy. They are very enthusiastic and I think that is something that is really cool. I do think, again as a millennial, we all get really bad raps for being selfish and narcissistic and lazy and wanting things handed to us but I do think we see energy and enthusiasm from both sides in politics. They are doing this because they believe in their mission and they truly believe the person they are helping will make this country a better place and I find that particularly inspiring and a really great antidote to the narrative that exists around millennials right now.

Is there something that you have seen that is not being discussed much or is flying under the radar?

Everyone is talking about college educated white voters, suburban men in counties that are part of the narrative of where this election is headed. I had a couple of folks say to me: look at millennials, look at where they’re breaking, look at who they’re breaking for and look at the story that tells. Because that, maybe not November 9th or tenth but ultimately at some point in several months, that is going to be a really important storyline and tell a really important story about this campaign and this election and who is going to be our next president. And I thought that was really interesting because we don’t hear a lot millennials when we think about voting blocs even though millennials are the largest voting generation and have overtaken baby boomers. I think harnessing the power of that and understanding the power of that huge group, a very diverse group and cannot categorize everyone as the same and there is a huge age range. Understanding the power of that bloc is going to be a hugely important story, maybe not in November or maybe not even in December but at some point we are going to be talking about that.

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About the Contributor
Ziyi Liu, Author

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The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
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7 years ago

Typo in the response of the last question.