Trump: 'King' to some in Pennsylvania, but will it benefit GOP? - worldsnews
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Trump: 'King' to some in Pennsylvania, but will it benefit GOP?

PA's MONONGAHELA (AP) — In this historic town, the Trump-Pence sign is still hanging on an older building off Main Street. It is a lingering reminder of the campaign fervor that enthused voters, many of whom continue to hold the false belief that the former president didn't lose the 2020 election and hope he will run again in 2024.

Traditional Democratic strongholds like Monongahela, about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, where brick stores and a Slovak fellowship hall dot Main Street and church bells mark the hours of the day, have been hit by the fervor for Donald Trump's distinct brand of nationalist populism. As they compete against Democrats this fall in Pennsylvania in elections for governor, the U.S. Senate, and control of Congress, Republicans are relying on political nostalgia for the Trump era.

Matti Gruzs, who turns discarded blue jeans into tote bags, place mats, and other items she sells at the monthly Farmer's Market downtown, claims that Trump just appeared and filled the need. He continues to be the king and the kingmaker.

In front of this lovely setting, House Republicans just unveiled their campaign platform in the hopes that their "Commitment to America" may capitalize on the same political emotion that Trump exploited to win over independent and former Democratic supporters in addition to Republican voters. But it's uncertain whether the backing that helped Trump win the presidency will still exist on November 8 election day.

The question of whether Trump's exaggerated accusations of voting fraud would harm the GOP if voters think the elections are fixed, as the defeated president asserts without providing any supporting proof, may prove to be much more difficult for the party. Some people can just choose to abstain from voting.

Dave Ball, the Republican Party chairman in Washington County, which encompasses most of western Pennsylvania, stated that the contest "started out as a low-enthusiasm race."

The demand for yard signs, Ball's primary indicator of voter interest in the elections, has been "growing fast," he claimed. At one point, he commented, "you know, we were wondering, were we going to see any." I currently don't have access to enough.

However, Monongahela native and poll worker Amy Michalic said she encounters distrust from certain voters, notably Trump backers, who "believe my vote doesn't count."

Trump's allegations of fraud are unfounded. Judges around the country have dismissed or rejected dozens of lawsuits brought by Trump and his supporters, but he still contests Joe Biden's victory. Every state's election results have been verified by officials, and Trump's own attorney general at the time, Bill Barr, declared in 2020 that there was not enough voter fraud to alter the outcome.

Michaelic emphasizes the value of voting and points out that no one predicted Trump's victory in 2016 to doubting people in her area. She responded, "Look what he did, he took Pennsylvania."

On a recent day, shoppers at the Farmer's Market voiced the same worries that many Americans have about the high cost of goods, the difficulty of finding employees and well-paying employment, and the cultural conflicts.

Michelle DeHosse, who was assisting sellers in setting up their booths while sporting an American flag shirt, asked, "Where do you start?"

DeHosse, who has a custom-screen print and embroidery business on Main Street, claimed that since the outbreak, it has been difficult to get personnel. She said she just could not afford the $20 an hour and health insurance that many applicants want, but she is aware that many employees require both. The economy, she remarked, is what she was most worried about.

Voters who chose either Republican Mehmet Oz or Democrat John Fetterman for the Senate in year had few Democrats among them and didn't seem to be very passionate about their choices. Many stated that they would probably follow the party line.

Republican Carolyn McCuen, 84, who was enjoying the sunset with friends and a McDonald's coffee at a picnic table by the river, declared, "I don't like either one of them."

Sam Reo, a 76-year-old Republican and retired mechanical engineer who was playing oldies for the group on a portable speaker, responded, "Me neither."

They both still intend to cast ballots. The enormous posters along Lincoln Highway, which runs east-west through the state, show support for the Republican candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, who appeared in front of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

According to Gruzs, who recalls Mastriano's daily updates broadcast throughout the epidemic, he is a "folk hero around here."

Gruzs, a fan of history and a home-schooling mother, hasn't missed a vote since she cast her first ballot for Ronald Reagan in the presidency. The same is true of her plumber spouse Sam. They relocated here from Baltimore twenty years ago in search of a better life. She spends her days crafting and listening to far-right radio shows, including those from Charlie Kirk, Steve Bannon, and others now that she is a grandma.

She does not think House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Californian, has the fortitude necessary to advance the party's ideals. She did, however, go to the gathering where politicians presented the GOP plan at a neighboring industrial site. She was encouraged to see McCarthy there with far-right Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and she made sure to shake Greene's hand.

If she's behind him," she said, becoming hesitant. Today, it appeared that he had enough people pressing him from behind.

Trump continues to enjoy support, and two years after the victory, his 2020 campaign's sign was far from the only one still standing in the state.

Despite the potentially serious allegations revealed in state and federal investigations, some voters rejected the investigations against Trump as nothing more than a "witch hunt" intended to prevent him from seeking reelection. Despite the violence used by pro-Trump supporters to attempt and rescind Biden's victory, several voters stated they didn't think the attack on the Capitol constituted an uprising.

These opinions are at odds with the precise information from January 6: More than 850 individuals have been detained and accused of participating in the uprising; some of them received harsh penalties from the courts. Trump urged the crowd at a rally to "fight like hell" for his presidency hours before the siege began. Soon after, loyalists stormed the Capitol and engaged police in hand-to-hand battle, preventing Congress from confirming the election results. Five individuals passed away right away, one of which was a Trump supporter who was shot by police.

And if Trump makes another run?

The retired church secretary McCuen expressed her desire that he would. "However, I'm not sure if he will,"