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Hillary Clinton Campaign Works To Capitalize On Younger Support In Iowa


With the general election well under way, thousands of people are knocking on doors and building campaign organizations for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. We have two stories of what that organizing looks like on the ground in two key states, Iowa and Ohio. We begin with Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters on volunteers the Hillary Clinton campaign has recruited in that state.


CLAY MASTERS, BYLINE: On a humid afternoon, 19-year-old Josh Hughes heads out to a neighborhood in Des Moines to knock doors for the Iowa Democratic Party. Hughes has been ready for Hillary Clinton to be president since before he could even vote.

JOSH HUGHES: I was with Ready for Hillary in 2014 as like a young Americans coordinator or whatever. And I didn't do a whole lot 'cause I was still in high school, but I signed on in the campaign. So, like, I've been ready for Hillary for over three years now.

MASTERS: Due to Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus, Hillary Clinton has had a campaign organization in the state for more than a year. Armed with a list of registered voters and their addresses, Hughes is out to sign people up to vote early by mail.


MASTERS: The woman behind the first door tells Hughes she's thinking of not voting this year.

HUGHES: Well, don't do that (laughter). You know, we want our people to vote.

MASTERS: Hughes manages to charm her into filling out a request to receive a ballot in the mail.

HUGHES: So all you have to do is pledge to do the things in yellow, so it's your last, first, middle name.

MASTERS: The campaign won't give specific numbers of volunteers, but there are 24 field offices across Iowa. Bailey Romans is a field organizer who works out of one on the north side of Des Moines. She's even recruiting volunteers from suburban high schools.

BAILEY ROMANS: High-schoolers are the next generation, right? We are getting them excited about politics early.

MASTERS: Clinton just squeaked out a win in the Iowa caucuses back in February. Her rival, Bernie Sanders, handily carried young caucus-goers. Tova Yampolsky, another Des Moines field organizer, says they're trying to bring in the coalition of voters President Obama did when he won the state in the last two elections. Young people are a key demographic.

TOVA YAMPOLSKY: Certainly, I think when you look at Donald Trump on the other side of the ticket - not sure how many young people are supporting Donald Trump, but certainly younger voters tend to support Democrats. And we're excited to sort of capitalize on that and mobilize those supporters.

MASTERS: Early voting starts here next month, so the campaign's young volunteers are in a hurry to bring in as many votes for Clinton as they can. For NPR News, I'm Clay Masters in Des Moines. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter. He was part of a team of member station political reporters who covered the 2016 presidential race for NPR. He also covers environmental issues.
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