What do a New York lawyer, a business owner who calls himself a left-leaning Republican and a construction worker who elected Barack Obama have in common? They’re voting for Donald Trump.
None of them live on the breadline. They share surprisingly varied opinions. Yet they are profoundly frustrated — with the economy, with career politicians and with perceptions of declining American prestige.
The Republican frontrunner’s supporters are often portrayed as undereducated, underearning whites.
But in upstate New York, where Trump calls himself “the most popular person that’s ever lived,” the breadth of support spotlights his enduring appeal, albeit as the Republican elites plot to bring him down.
The most divisive presidential campaign in a generation hits New York on Tuesday.
“I don’t think he’s the Hitler everyone puts him out to be, I really truly don’t and as a New Yorker I grew up with the guy,” says Lloyd Knecht, 59, who owns a heating and air conditioning company that employs 30 people.
Knecht works in Binghamton, one of the fastest-shrinking towns in America and a pale imitation of an illustrious past where IBM was founded more than a century ago and where the flight simulator was invented.