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August 10, 2016

More high-profile Republican officials say they will not vote for Trump

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Essential question

Why is endorsement such an important part of political campaigns?


Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joined 50 national security officials this week by stating she will not vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in November.

New defections came just a day after Trump tried to reset his campaign, which has lost some ground to Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton following the Democratic National Convention.

Collins wrote in The Washington Post that she will not cast her vote in favor of Trump, stating she’s been “increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments.”

“Treating others with respect is an idea that should transcend politics,” Collins said.

Trump didn’t respond to Collins’ comments at a rally on Tuesday afternoon in Wilmington, North Carolina. Instead, he accused Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of wanting to abolish the Second Amendment — something that Clinton has never stated.

On Monday, 50 Republican national security officials signed a letter first reported in the New York Times saying that they would not support Trump. In the letter, they wrote, “We are convinced that he would be a dangerous president and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”

Collins said she would not be voting for Hillary Clinton either, although she stated that the two worked well together when Clinton served in the Senate.

Extension Activities:
  • Watch PBS NewsHour’s “Why Republican Sen. Susan Collins won’t be voting for Trump” to hear why Trump’s “constant stream of cruel comments” has contributed to Sen. Collins’ decision not to support him and why she will not be voting for Hillary Clinton either.
    • Do you agree with Collins’ decision not to vote for either candidate? Why or why not? What are some alternative voting options for individuals who are not planning to vote for either of the two major parties’ candidates?
  • Interested in voicing your thoughts on the presidential race to your elected officials? You can email your representative at USA.gov.

Key terms

defect — to desert a cause, country, etc., especially in order to adopt another

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. What does it mean to be a leader within the Republican Party?
  2. When is Election Day 2016?
  3. Would seeing someone you admire support a specific candidate influence whether or not you support that candidate?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. Is it concerning for Donald Trump that so many Republican leaders have said they will not support him in the election? Why or why not?
  2. What can Trump do to try to improve his standing with party leaders?
  3. Does Trump’s reputation as a “political outsider” ultimately hurt or help him? Explain.
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