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Local Republican voters look forward to seeing what Trump can/will do

Donald Trump leaves the stage after a March 2016 speech at the Peabody Opera House.
File photo I Bill Greenblatt | UPI
Donald Trump leaves the stage after a March 2016 speech at the Peabody Opera House.

In the weeks since the General Election, both those who voted for Donald Trump and those who didn't have been processing what many saw as a surprising outcome.

Some have expressed concern about how policies from the Obama administration will be affected: What will happen to the Affordable Care Act? What about immigrants and Muslims? Others are more fearful, or even angry in response to apparent race- or religious-based acts of aggression, carried out, presumably, by Trump supporters.

But, especially in Missouri, where Trump won the state’s 10 electoral votes, there are many people who voted decidedly for him, and those who were more strongly motivated to vote against Hillary Clinton.

Among them is Phillip Wells of Dellwood. While Wells is still waiting for the post-election dust to settle completely, he said he is happy with the outcome.

Phillip Wells of Dellwood, Republican, voted for Donald Trump (Nov. 28, 2916)
Credit Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio
Phillip Wells

“Well, I do listen to what Donald Trump says. And to what Hillary has done over the years,” Wells said, in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio. “I think she is deceitful.”

Wells listed himself as a Republican when he responded to questions posed through the station’s Public Insight Network. Though his first choice for president, during the primaries, had been Dr. Ben Carson, when it came to his November ballot, Wells chose Trump.

“It wasn’t so much that I was in favor of Donald Trump, as I was anti-Clinton,” he said.

Chris Patterson, of O’Fallon, Missouri, however, said he was “thrilled” by the election results.

“Although Donald Trump was not my first choice, I am excited that Hillary was defeated. I am certain that if Hillary were elected, the results would have been disastrous,” Patterson said, in a written response.

“This election was a slap in the face to the liberal media, Hollywood, political correctness, the Soros machine, and the left wing agenda,” Patterson wrote. “For 18 months, we were slandered with terms like: racist, xenophobe, misogynist, and fascist. It takes a while for tempers to cool when you've been on the receiving end of that kind of hate for so long; hate that is still continuing after the election has been decided and over. It needs to stop before healing can start.”

Cheryl Blake of St. Louis, Republican voter for Marco Rubio (Nov. 28, 2016)
Credit Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio
Cheryl Blake

Cheryl Blake, who lives in south St. Louis, said she is equally anti-Clinton and anti-Trump. Although Blake considers herself “affiliated with the Republic Party,” she couldn’t bring herself to vote for the party nominee. Instead, she wrote in the name of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

“I think Mr. Trump is troubling. In particular, he needs to keep his mouth shut for a while. I think he’s calmed down a little. But he’s still twittering, and that bothers me a little bit,” she said.

Donald Woodworth Jr. lives in O’Fallon, Illinois, where voters must declare their party affiliation. “I’ve been a registered Republican for about 50 years,” Woodworth said.

Donald A. Woodworth Jr., Republican voter for Hillary Clinton (Nov. 23, 2016)
Donald A. Woodworth Jr.

“So, as I’ve watched the course of the Republican primary, I became increasingly disengaged, as I saw people that I thought were reasonably centrist Republicans fall by the wayside.”

When the time came, Woodworth changed his own course and voted for Hillary Clinton.

“… not that I’m a great Clinton supporter, I just felt that she had more experience. She wasn’t saying ugly things that Mr. Trump was saying,” Woodworth said.

When he awoke the morning after the election, “I mentioned to my wife that I felt like I was pregnant. I had morning sickness. It just really did not make me happy.”

Looking forward, Blake and Wells both said the American public, including ethnic minorities, immigrants and Muslims, should not be afraid of life under a President Trump.

“I do not see the United States as being different now that Trump is president," Blake said.

In response to apparent hate acts attributed to Trump supporters, Wells said, “If anybody’s doing illegal acts of any kind, they ought get put in jail and locked up, and throw away the key."

In the first days after the Nov. 8 election, Woodworth said, he considered changing party affiliation and registering as a Democrat. Now, after listening to a somewhat toned-down president-elect, Woodworth said he’s willing to give Trump a chance to show what he can do.

“I know he wants to make America great again. He wants to bring back industry.”

Woodworth, a retired Air Force colonel, told of growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut, which he called the “brass capital of the United States.”

“When I was a kid ... the factories hummed day and night,” he said. “The factories now are abandoned. The railroad yard that I used to like to go to and look at is totally empty and derelict.”

Should the president-elect run for a second term, Woodworth said he would tell him, “Mr. Trump … if that yard is full of railroad cars in four years, and the factories are lit up a night and humming, you might have a vote from me.”

Inform our coverage

This report was prepared with help from our Public Insight Network.

Follow Linda Lockhart on Twitter: @LLockhart92 

Outreach specialist Linda Lockhart has been telling stories for most of her life. A graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism, she has worked at several newspapers around the Midwest, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as a reporter, copy editor, make-up editor, night city editor, wire editor, Metro Section editor and editorial writer. She served the St. Louis Beacon as analyst for the Public Insight Network, a product of Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media that helps connect journalists with news sources. She continues using the PIN to help inform the news content of St. Louis Public Radio. She is a St. Louis native and lives in Kirkwood.