On Wednesday evening, the UVa Chapter of College Republicans voted 67-63 in favor of endorsing Donald Trump for president. The backing of the GOP nominee comes as a shock to many and the vote’s close split has likewise stirred discussion throughout the UVa community.
Over 100 members attended the meeting and many voted absentee. Supporters and non-supporters for Trump’s endorsement alternated speaking two minutes at a time. Following the speeches, every person voted “yes” or “no” anonymously for the backing of Trump.
“Many of us, including those on the executive board, were surprised by the results” said UVa College Republicans Chair Joanna Ro. “We had discussed the probability that it would be a close vote, but given the controversial nature of Mr. Trump’s campaign and the overall dissatisfaction many people seem to have with his candidacy, we expected the votes to lean more toward opposition.”
According to the fourth-year College Student, the vote to endorse the GOP nominee was definitely one of the deepest divisions the club has ever faced. “However, it became very clear eventually that many of our members felt that although he may not be the ideal candidate, he is nevertheless our candidate, and party unity is more important than ever.”