The Cincinnati Enquirer profiled several Trump supporters in the area to see why they prefer The Donald, and found they all have two things in common: they're white, and they're pissed off. People like Pam Fitzgerald, a retired teacher.
“I try to be as conservative as I can,” she said. “Because I know they were right.”
So while she believes diversity makes America better and has no interest in closing its borders, she says officials have been too generous in allowing people in. She believes President Barack Obama wants to let all Muslims, regardless of their background, into the country. This is not a good thing, Fitzgerald says.
She believes the military has shrunk under Obama. So when Trump says he will "make America great again," the campaign slogan struck a chord with Fitzgerald.
She remembers the respect she was taught growing up. That doesn't mean she agrees with everything Trump says, but she likes that he is not afraid to say it – respectfully or not.
There’s a fire in Trump she hasn't felt from a president before.
"He's opened the doors,” Fitzgerald said, “for people to open their mouths."
And guys like Ed Kirker, who has spent 26 of his 46 years in the military.
Kirker explains his Trump support with a saying he frequently used in the military: “I’m an (expletive). Get over it.”
He acknowledges Trump is flamboyant. To Kirker, this is part of his appeal.
When Trump made a campaign stop in Columbus, Kirker volunteered. That night, Trump made waves by saying he would bring back waterboarding. The way Trump explained his position was an example of the “common sense” approach Kirker has come to love.
In 1994, Kirker saw a man’s head chopped off inches in front of his face at the public Saudi Arabia market that is familiar to many as Chop-Chop Square. The man had been caught stealing.
When other countries do this, what is wrong with waterboarding? That’s a question Kirker can’t get past. There are questions about how Trump avoided the draft during the Vietnam War, but Kirker believes he is a natural leader.
A leader unafraid to say what he thinks.
A leader unafraid to offend.
A leader who could be president.
Or Kentucky Democrats like Larry Saunders, switching parties to the GOP to vote for Trump.
He worries about his wife and his two children when he is not around, even though Fort Wright is not a crime-ridden city. He believes top U.S. officials don’t know who is in America. He says Trump shouldn’t have singled out Muslims in comments about immigration, but agrees with his sentiment. He even takes it a step further.
“I would say stop all immigration for a time,” Saunders said.
He explains his thinking like this: “I wouldn’t let anybody into my house I don’t know.”
The United States should do the same, he said. Trump, he believes, will make sure that happens.
As to Trump’s sometimes abrasive tone, Saunders says he didn’t know what tone meant until it was discussed in the media. But it was part of the reason he remained leery about Trump as a presidential candidate.
Then he saw the polls. Trump was leading.
“Maybe that’s the tone we need,” Saunders said.
That theory that you've heard that Trump actually had far more support than he's showing in the polls? I'm starting to think maybe that's true. I'm starting to think a lot of pissed off white folks are going to be voting for him in 2016.
If the rest of us don't show up, this asshole just might win.