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Monday, April 17, 2017

Checking in with the marks

by digby

The mainstream press is now making it an almost daily ritual to take the temperature of the most important people on the planet: Trump voters. It seems they're worried because their magical billionaire TV reality star is having a rough time "winning."  Beating the horrible bitch and putting the "you know whats" in their places was lots of fun but now we're back to real life and they have to face up to the fact that politics isn't a game show:
“Just like any other damn president,” sighed Theresa Remington, 44, a home-care worker and the mother of two active-duty Marines, scraping at an unlit cigarette. She had voted for Donald J. Trump because she expected him to improve conditions for veterans and overhaul the health care system. Now?

“Political bluster,” Ms. Remington said, before making another run at the quarter slots. She wondered aloud how Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont might have fared in the job.

Such is a view from this swing county of a swing region of a swing state that powered Mr. Trump’s improbable victory, an electoral thermometer for a president slogging toward the end of his first 100 days. Across the country, Republican officials have grown anxious at their standing on even ruby-red turf, sweating out a closer-than-expected victory last week in a House race in a Kansas congressional district that Mr. Trump had carried by 27 points. Another stress test arrives Tuesday, with a special election for a House seat in Georgia. 
But it is here, among voters in one of the nation’s few true tossup districts, where any lasting strain may be felt most acutely.

In consecutive presidential elections, Pennsylvania’s Eighth District, which includes Bucks County and pockets of Montgomery County, has delivered Republican nominees their narrowest margins of victory in a congressional district. Mitt Romney won it by one-tenth of a point in 2012. Mr. Trump prevailed by two-tenths, attracting many of the relatively affluent and educated white suburban voters who were expected to lift Hillary Clinton, last year’s Democratic candidate.

The result is a patch of purple political terrain — specked with tree-lined blocks, sprawling estates and multiplying recovery houses — that looks much like the rest of a bitterly divided country, sorting itself generally into three camps: those with regrets about supporting Mr. Trump, those without them and those who cannot believe anyone supported him in the first place.

“No one wants to be wrong,” said Brian Mock, 33, a tattoo artist in Levittown, Pa., and a Trump skeptic. “It’s seeing a house on fire and saying, ‘That house isn’t on fire.’ It is very clearly on fire.”

Yet interviews with voters across the district suggest a nuanced view of a president getting his sea legs. Many still trust him, but wonder why his deal-making instincts do not seem to be translating. They admire his zeal, but are occasionally baffled by his tweets. They insist he will be fine, but suggest gently that maybe Vice President Mike Pence should assume a more expansive role.

Perhaps most forcefully, they question when they will begin to see more of that word they were promised, the outcome that voters were supposed to be “sick and tired of” by now, in Mr. Trump’s campaign estimation.


“It’s not what he’s done, it’s what he’s trying to do,” said Bill Yokobosky IV, 33, a train engineer from Langhorne, Pa., who was waiting for a haircut at a strip mall. “He hasn’t succeeded, really.”
Apparently, the gloating has quieted a little bit which is probably a relief to the half of the district that got sick of seeing jerks running around bellowing "Donald Trump!" like it was some kind of war cry. Still, most of them are sticking with their man:
At the same time, many in the area have made a point of reinforcing their loyalty, letting bumper stickers linger and Facebook posts bloom.

In December, some traveled west to Hershey, Pa., for a stop on Mr. Trump’s “thank you” tour.

Patricia Poprik, the chairwoman of the Bucks County Republican Committee, brought her two granddaughters, one of whom had requested a meeting with Mr. Trump as a Christmas gift.

“He goes, ‘Girls, you gotta do better than that,’” Ms. Poprik recalled of the presidential greeting backstage.

Holding forth last week at the committee’s stately headquarters in Doylestown, Ms. Poprik said many residents who initially feared publicly identifying as Trump voters had unmasked themselves since the election.

She acknowledged some “glitches” early on, including Mr. Trump’s halting progress on key campaign promises. But she remained broadly supportive.

“He thought he could go faster. I knew he couldn’t,” Ms. Poprik said from her office, which includes a talking George W. Bush doll; two Trump-branded water bottles; and several hundred elephant-themed trinkets. “You’ve got to get your rhythm.”

Many seem inclined to give him the space. Last month, hundreds gathered in frigid temperatures at a park in Bensalem for an event without the president, or any marquee speakers, simply to say they had his back.
So, they're hanging in. That's nice.

I'm sure we'll be checking in on a weekly basis to see how they're doing. They are, after all, the only people who really matter in this country.