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Harvard Republican Club Endorses Donald Trump in 2024 Presidential Election

Harvard Republican Club Endorses Donald Trump in 2024 Presidential Election

The Harvard Republican Club endorsed former President Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential election, the second time Trump has earned the club's endorsement.
The Harvard Republican Club endorsed former President Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential election, the second time Trump has earned the club's endorsement. By Julian J. Giordano
By Elyse C. Goncalves and Tilly R. Robinson, Crimson Staff Writers

The Harvard Republican Club endorsed former U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, the second time the club has endorsed Trump after snubbing his campaign during the 2016 election cycle.

Harvard Republican Club President Michael Oved ’25 announced the endorsement in an email to club members late Monday. The decision came after an internal vote among the club’s registered voters, as well as a vote of its board, according to Oved. Oved said roughly 90 percent of voters in the club-wide election voted to endorse Trump.

“In this race, Donald Trump is the most qualified candidate to lead our nation as President of the United States,” Oved wrote in a statement. “The Harvard Republican Club is proud to formally endorse him.”

The endorsement represents a yearslong evolution of the Harvard Republican Club from “Never Trump” conservatism to falling in line with the rest of the GOP establishment in embracing Trump.

In 2016, 80 percent of club members voted against endorsing Trump, and the club issued a statement that asserted Trump’s rhetoric “is poisoning our country and our children.” In 2020, the club threw their support behind Trump and lauded several of his “marquee accomplishments,” but reserved some qualms around his policy stances.

But this year, the club offered nothing but praise for Trump — along with sharp criticisms of U.S. President Joe Biden.

The HRC wrote in a press release that Trump “is the only candidate with the mental capacity to run our country,” citing Thursday’s presidential debate between Trump and Biden. Biden’s disastrous debate performance put his campaign on the defensive and amplified concerns about his ability to serve another four years in office.

“Even liberal media outlets were amazed at Biden’s poor performance and bemoaned his repeated stumbling, loss of words, and inability to properly discuss his own policies,” the HRC wrote. “Millions of Americans – including this Board – are left wondering: under a Biden presidency, who is really running the country?”

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung wrote in an emailed statement that Trump was “uniting the entire party and all Americans together to defeat” Biden.

Notably, the HRC’s press release avoided any mention of Trump’s conviction last month on 34 felony counts. The press release also did not address another set of Trump’s favored talking points: his claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” and his defense of the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to protest Biden’s election victory.

Instead, the press release touted the Trump administration’s policy agenda, including the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which permanently cut the corporate tax rate and temporarily lowered rates for some individual tax brackets.

The HRC also praised Trump’s work towards “curbing illegal immigration and building the border wall” and his “commitment to protecting the Second Amendment.”

The press release also focused on Trump’s completion of the Supreme Court’s six-to-three conservative majority, applauding cases like Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard — where the Court declared race conscious admissions unconstitutional — and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and left policy on abortion up to state governments.

In an interview, Oved pointed to the policy-heavy statement as a way to broaden the appeal of Trump and the GOP, describing it as “an explanation that’s designed not just for the Harvard student body, not just for Republicans, but for Democrats, for independents, for moderates.”

“Especially on college campuses, you see students and sometimes even professors who simply don’t understand how it can be that people actually support President Trump,” Oved said.

“Outlining it all in this endorsement really is a way for us to show them this is what we believe — and we properly sourced it all,” he added.

Conservative students represent a small minority of Harvard’s student body, and Trump supporters an even smaller part. In The Crimson’s September survey of Harvard’s Class of 2027, only 8.4 percent of respondents described themselves as conservative or very conservative.

Only 3.6 percent of students said they viewed Trump favorably, a decrease from 7.1 percent in 2020. However, just 39.8 percent of the Class of 2027 viewed Biden favorably compared to 90.1 percent of the Class of 2024 in 2020. This year’s poll marks a sharp decline in support for either candidate as the 2024 election approaches.

—Staff writer Elyse C. Goncalves can be reached at Follow her on X @e1ysegoncalves or on Threads @elyse.goncalves.

—Staff writer Tilly R. Robinson can be reached at Follow her on X @tillyrobin.

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