College Republicans across the country are strongly divided over supporting GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Trump has turned the clubs inside out, pitting members against members. Dozens of the country’s top College Republican chapters have declined to endorse him or decided to endorse another party’s candidate.
52% of the chapters have no statement on Trump, while 19% have publicly endorsed him. Harvard University’s CR chapter was the first to announce they would not be supporting the GOP nominee, making it the first time in nearly a century that they have remained silent.
University of Virginia’s CR chapter rescinded its public endorsement of Trump after the tape of Trump making lewd comments were released. Republicans at Emory College in Atlanta endorsed Trump a few weeks after the tapes release, and Southern Methodist University just decided Oct. 26 to endorse the GOP nominee. Alex Smith, national chairman of the College Republican National Committee, tweeted out in response to the video.
The divide among chapters, mirrors the divide within the party itself. Nearly 25% of Republican governors and members of Congress refused to endorse Trump. But the long-term effects of Trumps candidacy are what worry some young conservatives who say he is hurting the party’s efforts to bring in Millennials.
University of South Florida’s College Republicans chapter president Adam Lester, tells his members to “forgive Trump and remember what Hillary Clinton has done for this country, or rather has not done for this country.”
Cornell’s College Republicans is the only chapter to publicly endorse Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Republicans revoked recognition of the Cornell chapter but reinstated it after being threatened with a lawsuit.
A new USA Today poll shows that millennial voters have strongly rejected Trump, and shows Clinton leading Trump by 41%. Yale publicly endorsed Trump which led to a sudden mutiny, with several members leaving forming the “Yale New Republicans.”
Today, the College Republican National Committee claims to have around 250,000 students in nearly 1,800 chapters. It is a nonprofit political action committee with fund-raising power and shares its research on millennial voters with the Trump campaign, specifically the findings of its survey “Growing Up G.O.P.”