A panel of Pennsylvania women with different political views weighed in on their likely voting choices for the 2020 election.
The women from the suburbs of Philadelphia, who represented different races, ethnic backgrounds and voting records, spoke with “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason in a segment that seemed to show an agreement that President Trump would likely be re-elected in November.
The eight women, speaking from the Jem Restaurant in Norristown, were made up of four Trump supporters, and four who refused to vote for Trump but were not sure which Democratic candidate they would support instead.
A “Women for Trump” coalition was launched in suburban Philadelphia last summer by the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump in an attempt to boost support in the state where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by less than 1% in 2016.
The President’s accomplishments on the border, the economy, foreign policy, and national security were touted as reasons the Trump-supporting voters gave for backing the president’s re-election bid, strongly defending his record and his stand for values and policies they felt were important.
Asking if the women were “persuadable” on which candidate to vote for in November, registered Republican Julia Bohnenberger replied that she does “not vote straight-party ticket” and that it was “possible” that she could vote for a Democrat. The non-Trump supporters were adamant that they could not be as flexible and would never vote for Trump, though Democrat Charrele Robinson-Brown noted she could vote for another Republican candidate.
She later did express admiration for Trump’s strong stance on some issues, though she felt he could take more of a “hard-line” on racial issues.
The civil discussion, which saw no name-calling or derogatory remarks between the women, touched on hot-topic issues such as the border, immigration and race relations with the Trump supporters noting they did not always agree with the president’s delivery but were strong advocates for his record of accomplishments.
Wearing a prominent “Trump” pin, Maryellen DiGregorio, who said she had previously voted Democrat but then “flipped the switch” to Trump, explained her satisfaction with the direction of the country and how the booming economy has helped her portfolio.
“His international policy has been bold and effective in ways that we never anticipated,” Bohnenberger added, noting his “bold” stand for Israel and against perpetrators of terror.
Trump’s Democratic rivals did not get as much discussion time though four of the women indicated they were “leaning Democratic” at this stage of the 2020 race. But they were not as sure about their candidate of choice, with Robinson-Brown admitting she would vote for former Vice President Joe Biden because he was “the lesser of the evils.”
Her remark drew a round of laughter at the table as she agreed that his past experience helps.
Longtime Republican Melinda Wolff, who switched parties last year, was sure she would be voting for a Democrat though she did not name any of the current contenders.
“I’m definitely voting for a Democrat and who can best beat Trump,” she said.
Cynthia Sabatini, who described herself as an Independent voter registered as a Republican, made it clear she was in favor of a “fair economy” but did not support either Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren who have policies targeting the super-wealthy and large corporations.
Independent Nelly Jiminez bluntly shared that she was “disappointed” in the field of Democrats running against Trump.
“I am disappointed. I don’t have choices,” she said. “I don’t feel that I have someone who’s going to move me.”
The women ended up circling back to discussions of Trump again, with DiGregorio at one point challenging Wolff’s characterization of Trump as “bullying.”
“I don’t see Trump as bullying, though,” she said. “I see him challenging, because the ridiculous that goes on sometimes. You’re right, he’s not a politician. I thought it was refreshing to find a businessman who made himself a millionaire would want to work for me.”
Bohnenberger pointed out that some people find Trump’s appeal is in that he “punches back” as the women discussed the need for a thicker skin as a politician.
The generally positive views of the president and the lack of a strong voice for Democrats at the table was, not surprisingly, spun differently back in the CBS News studio as Mason wrapped up his report.
Co-host Tony Dokoupil contended that Trump supporters are “not saying that he’s a good person or trustworthy or honest” but that they are willing to overlook his faults because of some of the good things he has done.
“The election is going to be fought among voters like that,” Mason concluded.
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