President Trump sailed into office thanks to the support of voters in Pennsylvania, and he’s hearkened back to having won Pennsylvania in particular in at least one high profile instance since taking office. In the context of his decision to pull the United States outside of the Paris Climate Accord, the president quipped that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
More broadly, the president often cites his supposedly strong base of support among the general population.
Now, however, there is a new crop of personal reflections on the Trump presidency from voters in Pittsburgh that paints a starkly different picture than that which Trump seeks to project.
On Tuesday night, Emory University sponsored a focus group in Pittsburgh meant to gauge voters’ perceptions of the Trump presidency — and voter after voter expressed serious discontent with the White House.
The discontent expressed by those who participated in the focus group was largely, according to POLITICO‘s report, based out of the freewheeling, belligerent way in which the president chooses to conduct himself.
One voter, a Republican leaning Independent named Christina Lees, explained that she was aware of Trump’s tendency towards being provocative when she voted for him, but now, he has taken it way too far.
‘We know he’s a nut. Everyone knew he was a nut. But there comes a point in time when you have to become professional. He’s not professional, forget about presidential.’
Indeed; Lees does, of course, have a point, with the president often resorting to such tactics as lobbing jabs at his political opponents — and even his political counterparts — via his infamously vitriolic Twitter account.
Other voters focused more in their comments on the fact that, besides the president’s personal behavior, the Trump Administration has pretty much nothing to show for itself after being in place for some seven months. The GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare is the most recent major legislative push to fail.
As construction worker David Turner described his views:
‘I traditionally am in the “give the guy a chance” group. His learning curve has been a little disappointing, meaning he hasn’t caught on like everyone has said here, “If he did this, he’d be OK.”‘
Republican Russell Stit said in the focus group that he was initially a “huge supporter” of what the Trump campaign represented — but now, he elaborated, he’s lost.
‘I guess I question what he’s trying to do. I don’t fully understand it. The philosophy, give the guy a chance, is only the first 200 days to try to right the ship.’
Speaking of accomplishments — or the lack thereof — not one single member of the focus group gathered in Pittsburgh last Tuesday expressed full support for Trump’s proposed U.S./ Mexico border wall. Some of those gathered did support other, perceptibly related aims of the Trump Administration, like cracking down on illegal immigration in general — but none of them supported the wall.
In short, it’s clear from this panel that Trump was lucky to have won Pennsylvania in 2016 — and he’ll be even luckier to pull off a win there come 2020.
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