Oct 23, 2019

Candidates in Fresno few and far between

Hillary Clinton’s visit on Monday was not the first presidential campaign to stop in Fresno. Other presidential hopefuls have come to Fresno, both for campaign contributions and voter support.

Traditionally, the Central Valley has voted Republican, so fewer Democratic candidates have made visits to Fresno, although Democratic hopeful and former Sen. John Edwards did come to a Fresno fundraiser in March.

More Republican candidates have made local stops. Republican candidates John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have all made stops in Fresno for their presidential campaigns in previous months.

“Historically, presidential candidates have not come to California, but with the earlier primary this year, the state is more attractive,” political science professor Thomas Holyoke said.

The California presidential primary was moved forward to Feb. 5, making California more important for candidates.

Holyoke, who is also the College Democrats’ adviser for Fresno State, said that Clinton was not in Fresno for the money.

“This is an area that is more attractive for Republicans but there are a number of Democratic votes to be had,” Holyoke said. “There’s a feeling that Republicans in the valley are not thrilled about their choice of candidates and may not even vote.”

David Schecter, another political science professor at Fresno State said that Republicans don’t come to Fresno because there’s no need for them, while Democrats don’t visit because they don’t want to waste time. Schecter said it is complicated for the Democratic frontrunner Clinton because she feels she has locked up the Democratic nominee already.

“She looks like she is running a national campaign,” Schecter said.

Clinton was not in Fresno to fundraise for her campaign, even though she has been massively overshadowed by Republican campaign contributions from the Central Valley, according to the Federal Election Commission. However, Clinton has gained the most money from California out of all of the presidential campaigns.

Holyoke was surprised that Clinton even spent a few hours in Fresno.

“Don’t expect other Democrats to show up. A Republican might come here, but probably not until after the primary,” Holyoke said. “Los Angeles and San Francisco are more important.”

Holyoke said Clinton used Fresno High School as a backdrop for her image, not because she was trying to reach out to the students. Most of the high school students will not even be old enough to vote in the coming election, which is why the Clinton campaign passed out many of the free tickets to the event at Fresno State and Fresno City College.

Fresno State student and College Democrats President Adam Horn said that students should try to get involved with a campaign that sparks their interest.

“You can get part-time or full-time internships with a campaign and it’s not even that much of a time commitment out of anyone’s schedule,” Horn said. “It’s a good way to get young people involved.”

Horn said that students can search Online at campaign Web sites for opportunities. However, those internships are usually unpaid. Horn, who attended the Clinton rally, said there were a number of Clinton interns that came out to Fresno High School on Monday.

Holyoke and Schecter stressed that voting is also very important.

“The Democrats seem much more enthusiastic about their choices and they’re more likely to vote,” Holyoke said.

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