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Why Pennsylvania Democrats voted for Trump

Friday, November 18, 2016 - 03:01

A working class, traditionally Democratic county in Pennsylvania flips to President-elect Donald Trump, wooed by the billionaire businessman's message of job creation and lower taxes. Pavithra George has more.

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Paul Congdon has seen the decline of Luzerne County first hand. He owns one of the few hardware stores still in business. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL CONGDON, HARDWARE STORE OWNER, SAYING: "It just seems that the large stores have changed the horizon on everything and it's a big, fast world and if you are small, you're not going to survive. You're just going to get eaten up." The Pennsylvania county, once a democratic stronghold, voted in large numbers for Donald Trump - handing this key battleground state to the Republicans for the first time since 1988. For Congdon, a registered democrat, the shift was a long time coming - (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL CONGDON, HARDWARE STORE OWNER, SAYING: "It is a democratic area and they voted for Trump for a reason. Reason is people want a change. They don't want politicians anymore. They are fed up of politicians and he's an outsider. He's running on a Republican ticket but he's basically an outsider and people just voted for him for that reason." An outsider whose campaign rhetoric struck a chord with THIS one time coal-mining community and many others - struggling with the loss of their principle industries, like mining and manufacturing SOUNDBITE) (English) NOLDE ROBINS, AUTO MECHANIC, SAYING: "I think he can do more for the economy than anybody's gonna. I think he can make things happen that the other politicians aren't going to, you know what I mean? Auto mechanic Nolde Robins, say the jobs left behind are in warehouses that distribute goods produced abroad. Many pay lower wages and hire younger workers. SOUNDBITE) (English) NOLDE ROBINS, AUTO MECHANIC, SAYING: "People don't have those $25 per hour jobs, you know what I mean? You don't get that for driving a forklift or loading a truck or filling out the paperwork to get something from A to B and that's what all our warehouse space - it's all distribution, you know what I mean? We are pulling in stuff from China because it's cheap and we are distributing it through out the United States and we do a lot of that here and it's just not cutting it." A rusty conveyor belt and gas boilers are what's left of Dave Begliomini's once thriving textile manufacturing plant. Begliomini used to employ more than 350 people - but those jobs went to China in the 90s-forcing him to convert his manufacturing plant into a storage facility. He once supported Barack Obama - now he backs Trump and his promise to boost the economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVE BEGLIOMINI, OWNER, ATWATER SELF STORAGE, SAYING: "Obama came and he promised change and nothing happened, he was just another politician promising change. I don't think it mattered whether Republican, Democrat. Trump could have been a democrat and he would have won. The party had nothing to do with it." At 6.2 percent, Luzerne County currently has an unemployment rate higher than the Pennsylvania average - and residents in this once Democrat county hope those numbers can at last go down - as Trump takes over the White House

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Why Pennsylvania Democrats voted for Trump

Friday, November 18, 2016 - 03:01