These gentlemen helped to deliver the Keystone State to Donald Trump.
Photo by Maria Young
Having refrained from voting for 23 years, Teresa Cacia could not let the significance of the 2016 General Election go unaddressed. With four months of intense research on the presidential candidates complete, she ventured to Barry Playground Tuesday morning to end the hiatus, endowing Donald Trump with her support. The member of the 26th Ward’s 9th Division and other backers across South Philly and the nation have cause to celebrate, as the Republican nominee scored an upset victory of Hillary Clinton to commence the countdown to his becoming the 45th President of the United States of America.
“This election cycle could not get more interesting or crazy,” Cacia said from the Marconi recreation spot. “Ultimately, after digesting all the ads and watching the debates, I had to go with him. I believe he’ll be a better leader than she could ever hope to become.”
As of press time, the 70-year-old business mogul, needing 270 electoral votes to finish his improbable run, had claimed 290 to his challenger’s 228, with finalized popular vote tallies from Michigan and New Hampshire yet to occur. Few polls had given him much of a chance against the First Lady to 42nd President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State under current Commander In Chief Barack Obama, but when perceived strongholds such as Florida and Pennsylvania went in his column, nothing could deny Trump’s ascendency.
“This result reminds me of athletic matchups where one team looks great on paper only to lose to an unheralded underdog,” 39th District voter Douglas Stevens said Wednesday morning when fraternizing with other Trump supporters not far from their polling location at South Philadelphia High School. “Like they say, that’s why you play the game. Well, you know what, that’s why we cast ballots, too.”
He and his companions represent the minority of Philadelphia residents, as Clinton won the city with 560,542 votes to Trump’s 105,418. Along with the setback for the first female ever to secure a major party’s nomination for president, locals also had to absorb the defeat of Katie McGinty, who had hoped to unseat incumbent Pat Toomey in the United States Senate, which, along with the House of Representatives, will be under Republican control when Trump’s inauguration occurs Jan. 20. With 98.75 percent of the city’s 1,686 precincts reporting as of press time, she had gained 539,041 votes, for an 81.7 percent clip, quite comparable to Clinton’s 82.18 clip.
“It’s comedic to me that these are even contested races, both statewide and nationwide,” Claudette Gomes said just ahead of voting a straight Democratic ticket at the 30th Ward’s Sixth Division at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center. “Trump is a buffoon who would be an incredible embarrassment to us on the global stage. I’m fully aware of the controversies that surround Hillary Clinton, but I think those are just character assassinations. I can’t see anything slowing her down.”
The South-of-South resident’s choice made a well-received stop in Philadelphia on Election Eve, hoping that affection from the City of Brotherly Love, which hosted July’s Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, would help her to carry the Keystone State, which had gone blue since George H.W. Bush claimed it in 1988. As polls began to close, social media started to stir with talk of a win for Trump, with fervent proponents ecstatic over what his occupying the White House could mean and passionate detractors frightened about his possibly being in charge of the executive branch of the world’s third-most populous country. As midnight approached on the East Coast, what Gomes had deemed unlikely took on a different identity, particularly when North Carolina and Ohio went for Trump, who had emerged from a pool of 17 hopefuls to vow to “Make America Great Again.”
“It gutted me to see certain states go red,” Steven Argenzia said Wednesday morning, having eagerly voted for Clinton just before polls closed at Dickinson Square Recreation Center, within the 1st Ward’s 14th Division. “I can only hope that that man tones down his temperament, gets his act together, enlists a great cabinet, and works hard for every American.”
That sentiment echoed what Andrew Dankanich offered after casting his vote for the eventual victor within the 26th Ward, the lone one among South Philly’s seven that he won.
“Our system is so flawed,” the eager voter said to nods from other Trump aficionados. “I just see Clinton as being only for herself, and she would definitely damage this country even more so than it already is. We have to think what’s best for our future. In my estimation, that’s not another four years under a Democrat in the Oval Office.”
No matter how one decided, with Pennsylvanians having cast 5,948,311 votes as of press time, the task of somehow unifying the land will fall to Trump, the New York-born businessman who will become the oldest person ever to experience a first term as president. Seventy-one days from now, the American public will gain a more concrete understanding of what the future of our nation will hold.
“He talked about having the stamina to be our president,” Stevens said. “Go ahead and prove it, Mr. Trump.” SPR
Contact Staff Writer Joseph Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seven wards’ worth of voters took to polling places to cast votes in what many have called the most contentious presidential race in our nation’s history.
Photo by Maria Young