Why these swing-state voters say they’re sticking with Trump
Voters in Ohio and Iowa voted twice for Barack Obama to be president, and then switched to Donald Trump in 2016, helping push him to his Electoral College victory.
One year into the Trump presidency, women and men in these two key states told CNN they are largely supportive of the work done, though there is some disquiet about Trump’s style and what comes next.
Here are their views:
Geno DiFabio, machine shop worker in Youngstown, Ohio: ‘So easy to argue for Donald Trump with the facts’
As soon as someone says “Well I don’t like Donald Trump,” you ask them “Well, why don’t you like Donald Trump? Don’t you like the stock market going well? Don’t you like unemployment where it is? Don’t you like that Walmart had to raise their starting wage?” Is that because of the tax cut or is that because the pool of labor is drying up? In either case, that’s a great thing. It’s so easy to argue for Donald Trump with the facts.
I’m starting to get an inkling of why he uses Twitter in the way he does. Because if all he had to rely on was what people say about him, oh my God, I might not like the guy. And I love the guy, I love the job he’s doing.
Renee Adams, hog farmer in Monticello, Iowa: ‘He has actually helped agriculture so far. Now with NAFTA, that’s another story’
He has actually helped agriculture so far. Now with NAFTA, that’s another story. You know that does scare us pretty bad. But he is willing to listen to us. … I think he is on the side of farmers, though. Truly I think he has a plan. He’s completely different than what we’ve ever had before.
He’s shaking things up and I truly think we needed to have a little shakeup in this country. You know the health care has hurt the American farmer something terribly [and] the small business owner. He’s the one that’s turning it around, trying to turn it around and help us out.
We’re all immigrants, you know. I just want these people here to be legal. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of American people who don’t want to work, you know, who are abusing the welfare system and we can’t get people from Mexico who come up here and they want to work and they do the work. So I don’t want us to shut off from other countries.
Justis Harrison, nursing student and former Trump White House intern, in Youngstown: ‘He’s just constantly working for all of us’
I think he’s taken on a difficult job — a job that not so many people would want because it’s very difficult. And he’s been scrutinized every second of the way. I think he’s a man who literally and honestly tries his hardest and I think that people should give him slack. … It’s as if he doesn’t sleep, he’s just constantly working for all of us. He took this job today to work hard for us and he didn’t accept a single dime. His first year as president, he’s just been giving it away and he’s just doing an amazing job and I think that’s what we should focus on.
I have so much respect for everyone that works within the administration and they all just truly work hard. I was just an intern but I was always on White House grounds. Everyone was just really friendly. Everyone was just head deep into their work and just focused on making President Trump’s job much easier.
Gerald Retzlaff, regular political debater at Darrell’s diner in Monticello: ‘He’s playing three-level chess versus everybody else playing checkers’
Trump wasn’t my first choice. However he is doing a hell of a good job. … The things that he’s done — there’s a lot of confidence in the economy. i.e. the jobs coming back. Wages have gone up. Stock market is going up. The whole attitude has changed. There’s a can-do attitude that’s building up here.
Unemployment in the black community is … half what it used to be. I think he’s doing a number of very good things. Tactics and the ways he’s doing it, I wouldn’t necessarily go along with it, but you can tell he’s a guy that has had experience and he knows what he is doing and he’s playing three-level chess versus everybody else playing checkers.
Rick Green, iron worker and union member in Youngstown: ‘I hear nothing but good things about small businesses’
A lot of people have already discussed [the tax changes], openly stating that it’s going to benefit the top 1%, which it will. They’re mostly going to gain from it. However, the middle class people are going to receive child tax credits. That’s big. That is big for a family. Also we’re going to see a little alleviation from the taxes — they say we’re going to start seeing it on our paychecks very soon. … I honestly believe that Trump is doing this to bring corporations back to America. I think he’s trying to make it easier for these big companies with the money to say, hey we could do this in the United States for a lesser price now because he’s given us this tax back.
We have a great economic growth right now. Industries are booming everywhere. In this area, no, but I feel like there are small businesses that are starting to pick up. They feel comfortable with bidding and doing work because the economy is good. The stock market’s solid. Unemployment is down. These are huge things for if I were to go into business I would want to do it in a situation like this.
Dr. Richard Wolken, dentist in Monticello: ‘I think he’s on the right track. I hope he gets it done’
I just wish he didn’t use social media quite as much as he does. Otherwise I think he’s on the right track. I hope he gets it done. Tax reform is significant in trying to recreate the medical industry as far as, you know, coverage for people, trying to get more people included with better coverage. That’s a mess right now. Obamacare I think is not on the right track. There’s too many loose ends that aren’t being addressed.
Anna Pera, retired homemaker in Youngstown: ‘I couldn’t be happier with what he did’
Those of us who follow the facts, like I couldn’t be happier with what he did in this past year. And he, to me, is a man of his word and that is the most important thing to me. I don’t want another suave-suit politician. I’m sick of it. I want someone to keep their word. I want them to love this country like I love this country. I want them to put Americans first for a change.
Mayor Brian Wolken of Monticello (and son of Richard): ‘I’m skeptical. I’m trying to stay on the positive side of things’
I wish he’d maybe speak less, the Twitter feed can just go. You know, I’m excited to see that he got tax reform through. It’s a challenge other presidents haven’t gotten accomplished.
Even though I was a Bernie supporter, you know he’s still my president. I’m not going to be anti-Trump just because he got in. I’m still hoping for the best. We’ll see down the road. You know, it’s not instant with the tax reform. Defunding Obamacare, that’s going to be interesting to see how that goes moving forward.
He’s trying his best but I’m skeptical. I’m trying to stay on the positive side of things.
Derrick Anderson Sr., pastor and military veteran in Youngstown: ‘I was delighted to see that [the tax bill] is going to benefit small businesses’
I think we all can agree that something has to be done (about DACA and the Dreamers). And that’s what he’s trying to do and what he’s trying to do is to do it the right way. He’s not trying to just strong-arm it and make it happen without involvement of the Senate and Congress. But he’s trying to make this thing happen sort of just right for the children that are here in this country.
I was delighted to see that [the tax bill] is going to benefit small businesses. If you expand your business in the inner city, my community will benefit from this tax cut.
Cindy Bagge, president of Oak Street Manufacturing in Monticello: ‘We’re hopeful as far as the tax reform… we have grave concerns about other facets of his administration’
I think what you’d have to do is grade him just like you’d do any student and that would be on many levels, not just one. We’re hopeful as far as the tax reform … we’re positive about that. We have grave concerns about other facets of his administration and his actions verbally. Some of the statements that he makes. There’s just, there’s just a lot of disrespect for a large number of people in different avenues, different times, different days, that affect us all here in the United States but they affect us internationally as well.
I’m a glass-half-full person so I prefer to emphasize the hopes and the dreams. I look at where we are today and where citizens of America are today and I hope that we can move forward positively so that it’s tomorrow and the day after are always a better day. And that would be job-wise, opportunity-wise, because there are opportunities. Hopefully everybody can have those.