GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — While Donald Trump casts doubt on November’s election results, his supporters are looking toward Election Day with weary eyes and concern for their future.
In conversations with over a dozen Trump supporters both here in Colorado and in Wisconsin this week, supporters expressed fears for four years of Hillary Clinton and skepticism over the legitimacy of the election process that Trump has sought to discredit so thoroughly from the stump.
But the way in which supporters interpreted what happens after a possible Trump loss on Election Day varied greatly – some offering depressed resignation at the idea of another Clinton in the White House, others going so far as to say they’d organize against the decision if Trump does not claim victory.
A.J. Spiller shared Trump’s concerns about the state of the system, and said he believes that a Clinton victory means taking action.
“I have a saying: that by prayer, by peace, or by pitchfork we will get this country back one way or another. They can take it to the bank,” he told NBC News here, flanked by his wife, who shared her husband’s concern for their grandchildren’s future.
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Trump fed Spiller’s now or never concerns as he took the stage moments later, saying that “if we let the Hillary Clinton cartel” win, “history will record that 2017 was the year America truly lost its independence.”
While Trump has never explicitly called for his supporters to rise up against the government should he lose, it’s clear that some of his supporters were taking his do-or-die rhetoric in its most extreme sense.
But most Trump supporters said they simply saw Trump’s words as a rallying cry, giving voice to a sentiment they have felt resigned to accepting.
Dylan Sparks called the GOP nominee’s suggestion that the entire democratic system is rigged untrue and “not accurate.”
“He could just be rallying up his political base, but I do think that it’s kind of a false statement,” the 18-year-old Trump supporter said.
Mark Elliott, just a few feet away at the same rally, shook his head when NBC asked him about any kind of uprising in retaliation for a Trump loss. “No,” he said quickly when posed with what some of his fellow rally goers had told NBC. He also pushed back against the Trump-propelled idea that polling places were falling victim to the perils of a dishonest system.
Instead, he shared concerns about the fate of the Iran deal if Clinton should win and explained that the “rigged system” as he sees it is what the media puts on television each night.
It wasn’t all “pitchforks and torches time” for the Trump supporters who would struggle to accept a Clinton victory.
“I’m gonna move to Austria,” Jeannie VanRite said, considering life post-November 8th should Clinton win.
“I would seriously think about it. It’s really pretty over there,” she said while waiting for Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin, before eventually deciding that she’d stay for her grandchildren despite how unpleasant the idea of a Clinton presidency seemed.
And across the Green Bay ballroom, Keith Christensen resigned himself to discontent at the prospect of another Clinton administration.
“Well…life goes on. I don’t know what life will be like after that but life goes on,” Christensen said. “Luckily I’m old enough where I don’t have that many years to worry about it.”