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Inside the Pennsylvania County that Traded Obama for Trump
Luzerne County went blue for Obama in 2008 and 2012 but stunned in 2016 when it turned to Trump. Mark Peterson asks how residents feel now.
Looking down on the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
With a population of 41,200 as of the 2010 Census, Wilkes-Barre sits in Luzerne County, as the largest city situated alongside Scranton and Hazleton. At the height of its prosperity, Wilkes-Barre's economy relied on immigrants and nearby coal reserves -- its Wyoming Valley once the home of the largest American anthracite coalfield. Traditionally, the county is a mostly democrat metropolitan area.
Chris Race, who works at the Liberty Tax Service in Wilkes-Barre. "I voted for Trump," he began. " I feel he's doing poorly because of flip-flopping on all the promises he made. He promised to drain the swamp, put Hillary in prison, and repeal Obamacare. He hasn't done those things."
Neal Cusat sits in his tire store in Drums, Pa., the inside of which hasn't changed in 50 years. "I didn't vote because it was rigged by the Democrats," he said, "but I think Trump is doing good. Look around here, it is peaceful you can ride up and down the street without any problems."
Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., 11th District, interacts at a press conference for a new water plant. Part of his district is in Luzerne County. The congressman told a local reporter that Trump sent a strong message with the Syrian missile strike, adding, "it should have happened a long time ago."
Sandy Cruz, 25, in Rey's Barber Shop, located on Wyoming street in Hazelton, Pa. "What I think of Trump is he's a racist," Cruz said. "We come here to work and make things better for our families and he treats us like we're garbage. We work hard and give it all back to our family and community."
Andrew Hvozdovic, 80, has a drink in the North End Slovak Citizens Club, in Wilkes-Barre. "I voted for him and I'm still 100 percent for him," he said, talking about President Trump. "He's doing a good job. I pushed for him during the campaign. I have always been a republican and I support him 100 percent."
Regan Murphy, 20, studies psychology at Wilkes University. "Congress is giving him a hard time, but he's actually taking action like with the bombing in Syria," she said. "We voted for him to make changes. If we voted for that change, then we can't fight him on everything."
Edd Raineri runs a Beatles radio show called the Beatledd Fab Four Hour in Wilkes-Barre. Here, he wears vintage 1964 Beatle boots in his home in Shickshinny. "He's certainly done more in his first 100 days than anybody else has ever done -- give the guy a break," Raineri said. "The attitude should be show me. And if you can't show me, then you can throw your mud. That should be for anyone who takes political office, but at this point it's too early to say whether he's just a windbag."
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