Elections

PA Democrats Explain Why They’ll Vote Trump

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter

Every single Pennsylvania Democrat who attended a recent voter-registration drive in a small western community pledged to vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“They think it is the celebrity of Trump,” Sheik Shannon, 55, told The Atlantic, referring to the political class’s understanding of why people like him are voting Trump. “It’s not. They think we’ve all gone mad. We’ve not. Communities like where I live do not need to shutter and die. We lead solid, honest lives, we work hard, we play hard, we pray hard … we love where we are from, and we feel a duty to make sure that it is here for generations.”

He and more than 60 other employees of Lee Supply Company showed up at the informal drive led by Secure Energy for America — a trade association working to get out the energy worker vote in Pennsylvania.

Another man who declined to be named teared up as he registered to vote for the first time. “This is about me,” he told The Atlantic. “I am doing this for me, my hometown.” (RELATED: Bill Clinton Mocks ‘Coal People’ For Supporting Trump) 

In addition to pledging to vote for Trump, those who attended the session promised to ask their friends and family to do the same. Washington County is one of several in Pennsylvania that could swing the outcome of the state, and perhaps the entire election.

President Barack Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have both made strong anti-coal statements, and have taken no pains to hide their belief the industry is dying out. “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Clinton said at a March townhall.

The county’s Democratic Party chairman is working hard to diminish what he expects to be a Trump win in the county, hoping it’s not enough to chip away at the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Democratic vote. Those comments by Obama and Clinton have had a “tremendously devastating” impact in the Democratic county, he told The Atlantic.

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama famously said on the campaign trail in 2008. “And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

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