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Donald Trump Jr. rallies Arizona voters to Republican cause

TEMPE – Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday followed his father’s footsteps to Arizona, a battleground state in the presidential election that has drawn Republican Donald Trump here six times – with another planned visit this weekend.

The younger Trump spoke at Arizona State University in Tempe as the election races to a close, a move to reach out to the millennials both parties covet and who have proven in the past to be elusive voters.

Trump Jr. said millennials will be living in the street if the country continues its course, underscoring a continuing theme of the elder Trump’s campaign that electing him as president is the only way to reverse directions to “make America great” again.

He spoke for about ten minutes, mainly about creating more jobs for people who have lost hope, and pushing for millennials to get and vote for the sake of their future.

“They (college campuses) want everyone to look different but think the same,” Trump Jr. said, in reference to how Trump’s campaign is different than Clinton’s.

Trump’s campaign is scouting out locations for a potential seventh visit to Arizona on Saturday, Trump Jr. added.

Trump Jr. spoke of his father’s reaching for the American dream.

“He loves the American dream,” Trump Jr. said. “He loves what that stands for” and will make sure every American has the opportunity to achieve it.

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“If you yelled USA at a Democratic rally, you’d be thrown out,” Trump Jr. told the crowd of about 500.

He spoke at the polling place where students will vote on Nov. 8, the first time people will be able to vote on an ASU campus.

Trump Jr. was reaching out after another political offspring, Chelsea Clinton, stumped at the college for Trump opponent Hillary Clinton. The younger Clinton’s visit was among Arizona visits on Hillary Clinton’s behalf by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the former Democratic presidential candidate, and First Lady Michelle Obama.

At Thursday’s rally, about one-fourth of the more than 500 at the rally raised their hands when asked if they were a millennial.

ASU student Parker Dippel said he’s not a Trump backer.

“I just don’t think he’s very attractive to millennials because of his rhetoric,” Dippel said.

Two ASU students from France, Elie Baladou and Geoffrey Vassallucci, attended the rally to get more information on the election and American politics.

Baladou, a political science major, said he isn’t a fan of either candidate but if he had to choose, he’d pick Clinton. As a millennial, he said he’d like to see more seriousness from both candidates and discussion of concrete policies, instead of consistently arguing with each other.

But independent artists Christopher Coates and Brittney Tran don’t think the Clinton surrogates who spoke in Arizona last week, including Michelle Obama, succeeded in turning traditionally red Arizona blue.

Coates and Tran set up pop-up shops around the country at trade shows like Comicon, and interact with many people, Tran said. Most of the people they’ve spoken with in Arizona favor Trump.

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“I don’t want a president, I want a leader,” Coates said.

Clinton hasn’t campaigned in Arizona since March but polls show the race between the two hopefuls is close, making Arizona a battleground state.

Trump’s last visited Arizona in Prescott Valley earlier this month, encouraging people to get out and vote.

Trump Jr. urged those at the rally to vote early.

That’s already happening.

Some Arizona county elections officials said they expect high voter turnout this November after receiving a surge of early ballots this week.

Maricopa County – the state’s largest county – already has received about half a million early ballots by Wednesday, a spokeswoman said. Officials have mailed out a record 1.5 million early ballots for the Nov. 8 election.

Elizabeth Bartholomew, a spokeswoman for the Recorder’s Office, said the amount of early voters is higher than usual.

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Bri Cossavella/Cronkite News

Donald Trump Jr. spoke to Arizonans at a rally at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.