From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
September 14, 2016
Yesterday, DAVID AXELROD was the Signature Debate Speaker on “The Evolving Media and Political Landscape” – a Debate 2016 event at Hofstra University, which is hosting the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump later this month, on September 26.
Axelrod, a former senior advisor for President Obama and current senior political commentator for CNN, devoted time after his prepared remarks to answer questions from audience members.
My favorite Q&A exchange began when a student referred to Axelrod’s advice to vote for one of the two major party candidates, rather than casting a statement vote for a candidate with no realistic chance of winning. The student then said he did not want to vote for either the Democrat or Republican nominee and indeed would vote for a 3rd party candidate.
So Axelrod gave an example of when protest votes for a 3rd party candidate may have affected the outcome of the election:
In the 2000 presidential race in the pivotal state of Florida, Green Party nominee Ralph Nader received over 97,000 votes, and Democrat Al Gore received just 537 fewer votes than Republican George W Bush, who won the presidency.
Unswayed, the student once again said he’d be voting for a 3rd party candidate.
Axelrod began to say something, then abruptly stopped, glanced up and then back at the student, and asked if he was from New York. When the student said yes he was, Axelrod cheerfully told him to go and vote away. The student smiled as he returned to his seat; the audience clapped.
FYI from LI: The most recent Republican presidential candidate to win New York was Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Hofstra will be the first ever university to host three consecutive U.S. presidential debates.
ALL Hofstra Debate 2016 events, unless otherwise noted on Hofstra’s site, are free and open to the public. RSVP is recommended.