Image: John Miceli, an 80 year-old retiree from Paupack Township, attends a town hall meeting in Pittston.

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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.

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Image: Looking down on Wilkes-Barre.

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. 

Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC News
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Image: Donato Marcario, a student from Kingston, stands under a bridge that goes over the Susquehanna River in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Marcario says he is upset about the Trump presidency so far and wishes he could have voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Donato Marcario, a student from Kingston, stands under a bridge that goes over the Susquehanna River in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Marcario says he is upset about the Trump presidency so far and wishes he could have voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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Image: Mary Dippoligo, 78, lives in Wilkes-Barre, is the daughter of a coal miner and makes flag blankets for vets.

Mary Dippoligo, 78, lives in Wilkes-Barre, is the daughter of a coal miner and makes flag blankets for vets. "I think it's terrible what's happened to the country," she said. "I think Trump is making it worse. I didn't vote because both were corrupt."

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Image: Chris Race, who works at the Liberty Tax Service in Wilkes-Barre.

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."

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Image: Flags and figures are seen at Our Lady Of Hope Park in Wilkes-Barre.

Flags and figures are seen at Our Lady Of Hope Park in Wilkes-Barre.

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Image: The former Wilkes-Barre campaign headquarters for Hillary Clinton remains deserted nearly six months after election day.

The former Wilkes-Barre campaign headquarters for Hillary Clinton remains deserted nearly six months after election day.

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Image: An abandoned repair shop in Wilkes-Barre.

An abandoned repair shop in Wilkes-Barre.

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Image: Sharonlee Ashley, 68, outside of her mother's home in Ashley.

Sharonlee Ashley, 68, outside of her mother's home in Ashley, Pa. "I voted for Trump. I still have high hopes that Trump can do what he said he was going to do. The media is trying to stop him but I think he will win."

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Image: Julie Vitale poses at her home in Wilkes-Barre. "I think he's for himself... and the way he talks about women and vets isn't right."

Julie Vitale poses at her home in Wilkes-Barre. "I think he's for himself... and the way he talks about women and vets isn't right."

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Image: Neal Cusat sits in his tire store in Drums, the inside of which hasn't changed in 50 years.

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."

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Image: Local leagues bowl at Chacko's Family Bowling Center in Wilkes-Barre.

Local leagues bowl at Chacko's Family Bowling Center in Wilkes-Barre.

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Image: An unoccupied store sits in downtown Wilkes-Barre awaiting new tenants.

An unoccupied store sits in downtown Wilkes-Barre awaiting new tenants.

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Image: A shuttered factory sits quietly in Wilkes-Barre.

A shuttered factory sits quietly in Wilkes-Barre.

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Image: Local Republican official Rick Morelli poses in his home in Sugarloaf Township, Luzerne County.

Local Republican Rick Morelli, a 46-year-old software developer, poses in his home in Sugarloaf Township, Luzerne County.

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Image: Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA 11th District) interacts at a press conference for a new water plant.

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."

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Image: Sandy Cruz, 25, in Rey's Barber Shop, located on Wyoming Street in Hazelton.

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."

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Image: The Anthracite Miners' Memorial Park in Ashley.

The Anthracite Miners' Memorial Park in Ashley.

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Image: Jonathan Stempien, from Wilkes-Barre, works as a home healthcare person.

Jonathan Stempien, from Wilkes-Barre, works as a home healthcare person. "Trump's doing so so," he said. "He needs to take on the role of being president. All my friends are strongly behind him cause of his military stances. I'm the only one who is waiting to see him be more presidential."
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Image: A truck is for sale truck in Ashley.

A truck is for sale in Ashley.

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Image: John Miceli, an 80 year-old retiree from Paupack Township, attends a town hall meeting in Pittston.

John Miceli, an 80 year-old retiree from Paupack Township, attends a town hall meeting in Pittston, Pa. "Trump is doing terrible," he said. "He hasn't done anything. He is just destroying everything that was accomplished in the last eight years."

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Image: A woman clutches her knitted purse as she listens at town hall meeting in Pittston, in Luzerne County.

A woman clutches her knitted purse as she listens at a town hall meeting in Pittston, in Luzerne County.

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Image: Business signs in Plymouth, in Luzerne.

Business signs in Plymouth, in Luzerne.

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Image: Andrew Hvozdovic, 80, has a drink in the North End Slovak Citizens Club, in Wilkes-Barre.

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."

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Image: Regan Murphy, 20, studies psychology at Wilkes University.

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."

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Image: Jim Spook, a crossing guard in Ashley, speaking of President Donald Trump said,  "I am not a fan. I wanted Bernie. Trump only has the interests of the rich and the powerful."

Jim Spook, a crossing guard in Ashley, speaking of President Donald Trump said, "I am not a fan. I wanted Bernie. Trump only has the interests of the rich and the powerful."

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Image: Alex Bouika, 64, sits in his service station in Plymouth.

Alex Bouika, 64, sits in his service station in Plymouth. "Voting for Trump would have been crazy. It would have been like making me president. What do I know? I'm not qualified to be president and neither is he. There is something wrong with that guy."
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Image: 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.

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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Image: Signs at a gas station in Plymouth.

Signs at a gas station in Plymouth.

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Image: Signs along the road toward Hazel Township, in Luzerne County.

Signs along the road toward Hazle Township, in Luzerne County.

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Image: Wind turbines line the horizon on the ridges above Wilkes-Barre.

Wind turbines line the horizon on the ridges above Wilkes-Barre.

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