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CHAPEL HILL—A long line snakes around the Graham Student Union, and extends out into "The Pit," disrupting the flow of students on their way to class. We're here to see Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic presidential candidate. "Who's that?" is a recurrent response from inquisitive passersby. "Oh, cool," is another.
The line continues to grow. A Mom Demanding Action for Gun Sense in America gives her bored children, also decked out in MDA gear, permission to look around in the student store. With an indeterminate amount of sarcasm, she thanks them for letting her use them as "props" for the day. She wants a "real person" to take on Donald Trump in 2020. She likes Elizabeth Warren's policies, but worries her nomination would be "Hillary all over again." Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are just too old.
Emergency - Call - Box - Campus - Flair
We're loitering next to an emergency call box adorned with typical campus flair. Stickers promoting "consent," and "antifascist action." And a Wendy's boycott, though no one is sure why. Maybe it's sort of like the Chick-fil-A thing? (It's not.) Just out of sight, in the main quad, students are demanding justice in Palestine. A group of female students fight through the Beto line. They agree they might have gone to see Pete Buttigieg. "He's chill."
Like most college towns, Chapel Hill is reliably blue. Democratic presidential nominees have won more than 70 percent of the vote here in Orange County since 2008, when Barack Obama's strong showing among college-age voters helped him defeat Hillary Clinton in the North Carolina primary and become the first Democrat to win the state in a general election since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Beto - Crowd - Doors - Line
That's why Beto is here. At the very least, he's guaranteed to draw a crowd. However, once the doors are opened and the ostensibly formidable line flows in, it's clear...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Is it real news?? or MSM news??