TOPICS > Politics

In Virginia, voters reflect on their presidential choice

November 11, 2016 at 6:45 PM EST
To gauge the range of reactions to the greatest election upset in American history, we visit Manassas, Virginia, and speak with people at all points on the political spectrum. The state used to be reliably red, but Tuesday represented the third consecutive presidential election in which the state voted for the Democratic candidate. Here voices of Virginians in the wake of the election.
LISTENSEE PODCASTS

JUDY WOODRUFF: Now more on the aftermath of Tuesday’s election.

We take two looks at ways that the rhetoric and emotion of the highly charged presidential campaign continue to reverberate.

First, we go to Manassas, Virginia, about 30 miles west of Washington, D.C., near the site of the first major battle of the Civil War. After decades of supporting Republicans, Virginia voted Democratic on Tuesday for the third consecutive presidential election.

The state’s demographics are shifting rapidly, and like much of America, the division between red and blue is stark.

We spoke with people from across of the political spectrum caught up in the wake of one of the biggest political upsets in our nation’s history.

Here are some of their voices.

BRETT TUCKER: A lot of division has occurred in this great country over the last decade, and a lot of them is almost reflective to the time period of when the guns blazed on this battlefield and men fought for what they believed in.

And I think America is kind of in the same scenario where we’re divided on our beliefs in politics. To me, as I travel the country, I just feel the sense of urgency to repair it.

I’m Brett Tucker, 46, from Washington state. And I voted for Mr. Trump.

DON CLEMONS: My name is Don Clemons. I am 80 years old. I live at St. Joseph, Illinois, and I voted for Donald Trump for president.

I have seen John Kennedy, and I didn’t vote for him. I wished I would have. I have seen Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, you know, during my lifetime. See, I have voted in every presidential election since 1958. I think that’s about right. And these are the two weakest candidates that I have ever seen that I had to vote for.

SUSAN ARTZ: I’m Susan Artz. I’m from Aldie, Virginia. I’m 67 years old. And I voted for Donald Trump for president of the United States of America.

I think these other countries should do more of their share. They pay so much less for NATO than we do. I traveled around the world by the time I was 21. And I looked at all they have, like he says, with our infrastructure, with the railroads and all, and they have so much better than we do.

VANESSA ALLEN: I’m Vanessa Allen. I’m retired, and life is not easy, and I am a Democrat.

I think we have got a lot of dummies. I really do. I mean, if you truly listen to what he says, I don’t even see how you can push that button on that computer voting for him. It’s just — it’s crazy. I worked all my life, never took, never got, unless I made it. And now what, you know? So, I don’t think he will do anything great. I really don’t.

SALIM AMIN: My name is Salim Amin. I’m 23 years old, and I voted Bernie Sanders as a write-in.

I was born in Germany. And my parents are from Afghanistan. I’m not primarily concerned about the president himself. I’m more concerned about the people he’s riled up, the actual racist people, the misogynistic people that are feeling like they were — fueled the fire to be able to make sure — whatever they want to do.

LAMYAA MOWERY: We can’t succumb to what they want, and we need to be much stronger than we ever were before.

NATHAN MOWERY: I’m Nathan Mowery, and I’m a five-year Army combat veteran. This is my wife.

LAMYAA MOWERY: And I’m Lamyaa Mowery. I’m a nursing student.

NATHAN MOWERY: And we just got married in October. And we are here in our house in Virginia.

LAMYAA MOWERY: Already, after we found out that president-elect Trump won, people have gotten bolder. There have been cases where women are pumping gas and they have been yelled at to take off their scarf, or walking in a grocery store and telling them that this is going to be the end of you and it’s time for you to leave.

And it’s only the beginning, and I’m sure that everyone is going to see a rise in it.

ALICE BUTLER-SHORT: When Mr. Trump says make America great again, he means let’s bring it back to where it was and move forward and make it even greater.

And I am absolutely convinced that he will do that. My name is Alice Butler-Short. I am the founder and director for Virginia Women for Trump.

Immigrants will always be welcome in this country, but the right immigrants. We have got to keep this country safe, and we have had experiences of terrorism and terrorist attacks. And we know it’s not going to end. So, we have to take precautions.

THOMAS VLADIMIR MENDOZA: My name is Thomas Vladimir Mendoza. And I am a U.S. citizen. I live in the United States, so I’m American. But I was born in El Salvador.

My fears is that I won’t have a job, that I won’t be able to feed my child. Don’t fear a loudmouth. You know what I mean? That’s what this person is. He’s just — I have a lot of friends that are loudmouths, and you hear and you dismiss it because they’re friends.

But because this guy is going to be the president, it’s really hard to dismiss it. You cannot just say, he’s just talking, man, it’s just locker room talk. No, it’s true. He has that in him, but, you know, the good in people is not going to let him do that.

I have hope. I have faith. That’s what everybody wakes up and should have, faith that things will be better.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Some powerful voices.

SHARE VIA TEXT