Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has endorsed Hillary Clinton with an op-ed piece that ran in the Business Insider and the Akron Beacon-Journal.
In the piece, James speaks about his upbringing in Akron, Ohio, having little money in a single-parent home. In that environment, it is difficult for a child to make it. James has started a number of charitable organizations, including the LeBron James Family Foundation and Wheels for Education. As these names suggest, these programs focus on giving children more opportunities to succeed.
James says that in this election there is only one candidate that shares these same values: Hillary Clinton.
He talks about Clinton’s work to improve public schools, provide access to education and provide quality health care.
Finally, James addresses the racial divide in the country, imploring voters that we need to remain unified rather than adding to the divisiveness that already exists:
Finally, we must address the violence, of every kind, the African-American community is experiencing in our streets and seeing on our TVs. I believe rebuilding our communities by focusing on at-risk children is a significant part of the solution. However, I am not a politician, I don’t know everything it will take finally to end the violence. But I do know we need a president who brings us together and keeps us unified. Policies and ideas that divide us more are not the solution. We must all stand together — no matter where we are from or the color of our skin. And Hillary is running on the message of hope and unity that we need.
James’ endorsement may seem minor, but in Ohio he is anything but. Having brought the first sports championship to Cleveland in 52 years, James’ star has never been brighter among his home fans. And his home fans are casting ballots on November 8 in one of the biggest swing states in the country.
According to Nate Silver and his site fivethirtyeight.com, Ohio is the fourth-most critical state for this year’s election, with a 9.1 percent chance of tipping the election. Ohio carries 18 electoral votes, making it seventh among the 50 states. Over the last 10 Presidential elections, Ohio has five times votes Democrat and five times Republican. In each of those 10, the candidate who carried Ohio eventually won the election.
Fivethirtyeight.com also finds that Ohio is leaning toward Trump, but by a slight margin (as of October 3, Trump’s expected margin of victory is .4).
If James’ support can move even a fraction of people, it could have a major impact on the election.