Hillary Clinton brings final campaign rally to Raleigh
It was Gaga not MAGA that helped bring thousands to Reynolds Coliseum overnight for Hillary Clinton’s last rally before polls open Tuesday morning.
Lady Gaga performed a mini concert for a crowd of more than 5,500 before the candidate, her family and singer Jon Bon Jovi arrived.
Clinton and her Republican opponent Donald Trump tore through battleground states on election eve. Trump, whose slogan is Make America Great Again, held a rally at Dorton Arena on the State Fairgrounds earlier Monday.
At the midnight rally at N.C. State’s Reynolds Coliseum, the crowd’s cheering and applause drowned out portions of Clinton’s speech as she urged them to vote for an America where people face challenges together.
“If you believe America thrives when the middle class thrives, you have to vote tomorrow,” she said.
“If you believe in science...” she said before the cheering drowned her out.
“If you believe we should never write discrimination into our laws...” And she was overcome by cheers.
North Carolina has earned constant attention from the campaigns, and the latest polls show a near tie.
“I ask you not to quit until the polls close,” former President Bill Clinton said.
The Democratic presidential candidate touched on some of her major policy proposals - helping students with college debt, supporting clean energy, raising the minimum wage, and affordable child care for working families.
When the election ends, “our work together will be just beginning,” she said. “We have to bridge the divides in this country. As the Bible says, we have to repair the breaches. We have to start listening to each other again.”
Clinton arrived in Raleigh with her family and Bon Jovi.
They joined Gaga, who sang and urged voting for Clinton while wearing an outfit that Michael Jackson wore when he visited President George H.W. Bush at the White House in 1990.
“She didn’t just wake up one morning and decide she wanted to be president,” Gaga said of Clinton.
“She’s ready to be president,” Gaga said. “Hillary is the one.”
Gaga joined Bon Jovi in a “Living on a Prayer” duet.
“This state is razor close,” he said. “That’s why the two of us are here.”
Clinton supporters started lining up to get into the coliseum long before the doors opened, some more than 10 hours before the candidate arrived.
Abby Carbone, a sophomore at N.C. State who had been waiting in line with her friends since 3:30 p.m., described the night as one they “would never forget.”
“I’m just so excited to be here because the night of the election — the most important night so far — both major candidates are in Raleigh,” said Carbone, who is studying material science and engineering and chemistry.
Carbone, 19, said she is drawn to Clinton because of her ability to listen and act to make change based on what she hears, and because of her experience.
“She is the most qualified person to run for president,” Carbone said. “It’s insane.”
She added that she feels like “there is so much more at stake” in this election than in past presidential elections.
“There could be the mass deportation of a whole group of people and the oppression of multiple groups of people,” she said, describing a potential Trump presidency.
Kat Kirby, 19, stood near the front of the line with her friends, who had been waiting outside Reynolds since 1:45 p.m.
Kirby, of Wilson, said she believes Clinton will win Tuesday — ”it’s kind of a no-brainer” — but that she doubts she can win North Carolina.
“From all the stickers I saw at the state fair, I think Trump is going to win North Carolina,” said Kirby, a women’s and gender studies major. “I just don’t consider this a very liberal state.”
Kirby, who cast her vote for Clinton during early voting, said she believes in Clinton’s positions.
“She is all the things that Donald Trump is not,” Kirby said. “She is the polar opposite. That’s what I believe we need to carry on Obama’s legacy.”
Eric Low and a friend, who came with a guitar, held signs for the Trump-Pence ticket and Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr outside of Reynolds.
“I hate Hillary Clinton,” said Lowe, 18. “I like Donald Trump.”
Low, a freshman studying biology at N.C. State, said Trump says “some things that he probably shouldn’t sometimes.”
“But if you look at his policies, they are sound policies,” said Low, who is originally from Massachusetts. “If you look, Clinton has a long record of looking out only for herself and throwing everyone else under the bus.”