What do American voters think now?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporters speak out as the election result sinks in

 

BRENDAN HURLEY

Businessman Brendan Hurley emigrated from Cork in 1978. The 60-year-old lives near Orlando, Florida with his Brazilian-born wife. He runs a software company and a car dealership. He voted for Donald Trump on Tuesday.

“Of course the reaction I hear from Ireland and Brazil is one of horror. The reason the result was such a shock was because of the disconnected or maybe a blindfolded media.

The total failure to take the temperature of the American voter was extraordinary. How they could have missed such a movement against mainstream politics amazes me.

Almost everyone I have spoken to in the months prior to the election was disgusted at the state of things, all the while espousing their intent to seek change (Trump).

The enthusiasm and high turnout at his rallies went without coverage or attention. Did they all just shove their collective heads in the sand?

The bottom line here is that people demanded change with their ballot. Florida has been stagnant and that’s why the vote here turned so red.

The turnout at every rally was super strong and all the people who attended went home and stumped for Trump.

The “I-4 corridor” [the interstate that runs from Orlando to Tampa bisecting the state and a crucial swing vote part of Florida] turned around in a big way if you compare the vote back in the Obama election.

Ireland may see some sort of an exodus by some of the large American companies. I hear talk already of a tax break to those who would repatriate cash.

I believe that Trump will make good on providing strong incentives to “bring home the goods and the jobs” from Ireland.

I also think he will bias immigration laws to attract the “right sort of immigrant” (read Irish) instead of the “wrong one” (read Syrian).

I am hopeful that the US will experience another Ronald Reagan-like era, that the skeptics will be proven wrong about Trump and that he will succeed where the politicians have failed. It’s a new day in America.”

CASSIDY GUNDERSEN

ProvoUtahRepublican Party

“My heart sank. It was definitely not what I thought would happen, nor what I had hoped would happen. It was kind of scary, to be totally honest with you.

My husband and I watched it on CNN. Initially Hillary was in the lead, and that was what we expected to happen.

Because we’re a little bit more conservative, there was an exciting moment when we found out the House and the Senate were leaning Republican.

For us it was this perfect match: Hillary would be president but the House and the Senate would be Republican. Then all of a sudden it took a turn. I remember turning to my husband and saying: ’I can’t say President Trump.’

I don’t know that it’s any easier now, 48 hours later, but I have had some time to reconcile my feelings and at this point I realise that while Trump is our president he deserves our respect because of his office. I don’t have to respect his actions and the choices he has made as a person, and I don’t.

But I have to respect the future president of the United States. To me it doesn’t make sense to lash out, even though I do not think he is going to be a very good president.

I fear what will happen to religious freedom and to immigrants and other groups. However, Trump has changed his tone since he was elected. That’s hopeful.

My only hope is that he can be kept in check by the various other sectors of government – that the Supreme Court and Congress can keep him in check and stop some of those radical things he suggested.

If you had asked me a year ago, I would have laughed about a President Trump. I was working on Capitol Hill at the time, and everyone there was laughing at Donald Trump even getting the nomination. It was a joke. I think it was because we assumed the people wouldn’t take him seriously.”

LESLIE ROSSI

Leslie RossiPennsylvania

She drew people from across the western part of the state, distributing Trump t-shirts and other merchandise to generate support for the Republican.

She helped drive up the vote in Westmoreland County, which voted for Trump by a two-to-one margin, similar to Mitt Romney’s victory in 2012, but crucially with 13,000 more votes for this year’s Republican nominee.

Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just 1.2 percentage points, or just 68,236 votes, becoming the first Republican to win the Keystone State since George HW Bush in 1988.

“The ground game I ran here in Pennsylvania by creating The Trump House was about awareness, community, and discussing real and serious issues that affect our daily lives here in America. I had up to 2,500 people a day walking through the back door leading up to the finals days just before the election.

When I saw that Westmoreland County’s high voter turnout showed him beating Clinton nearly 2 to 1 contributing to his big win in Pennsylvania, I could only smile and know everyone here who campaigned in various ways, watched our work pay off as our county hasn’t voted choosing a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.

I am very proud of this win and know firsthand what went on here at The Trump House that contributed to those outstanding election results.

It was a ground game, a movement, and something you don’t typically see. People coming to our small town in massive numbers, lined up all day long, was such an amazing experience that no one who actually saw it, can deny.

It reminded me daily of my own grassroots growing up being a farmer/steel worker’s daughter. All those folks coming to visit the Trump House is Mr Trump’s doing.

He brought up the issues, stuck his neck out and was honest, genuine, and very real to the American people, being their voice as he was saying what they were thinking.

What the American media did to Mr Trump was absolutely and disgusting.

What “we the people” did for him was unite, believe in him wanting a better future for us, and we went out and voted for him giving him the chance so his strong business sense can lead the and we can have a better tomorrow.

We deserve that and I am so looking forward to these next four years more than ever before as we join Mr Trump in making America great again.”

MARIAM FAYAD

Mariam FayadArizona State UniversitySaudi Arabia

She became a US citizen last January. In the Democratic primary she supported Bernie Sanders, and voted for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

“I don’t know how to describe it other than surreal. I think I’m still having a hard time believing that this is actually what has happened. I guess I’m more cautious. For example, last night I was at a friend’s house and I had to ask someone to walk me to my car because I was a little concerned with everything that’s going on.

The thing that bothers me the most right now is the fact that before Trump was elected, I had this idea in my mind that at least not the majority of Americans felt that way, but because he has won by a good percentage, every time I see someone I’m a little concerned, thinking, ‘are you someone that voted for Trump? Are you someone that wants to harm me?’

I think a good majority didn’t vote for him specifically because he said those things about Muslims or women or people in the LGBT community, but I feel that someone who actually cared about those people – marginalised groups in America – could not have voted for him.

My parents believe that America was founded on specific laws that are very hard to break, and there are checks and balances so he wouldn’t be able to accomplish a lot of the things he has said. I’m not entirely sure.

I feel like many terrible things have happened around the world where people have said ‘the law doesn’t allow this.’

I’m not entirely sure that he will be able to accomplish the things that he said, or whether it will be just rhetoric that he spewed out to get elected. But I am a little concerned that people voted for him even though he said that he wanted to do all those things.

I’m more concerned about the general public and how they will treat minorities rather than what he will do as president.”

DERRY CONNOLLY

The 61-year-old lives in California and is president of John Paul the Great Catholic University, a film and screen-entertainment college in San Diego.

He has voted Republican since his first presidential election in 1988 and he voted for Trump on Tuesday.

“I am very excited about the election outcome. It is very good for the United States, and I expect it will be very good for Ireland.

The vote clearly was a vote against Obama’s legacy. Voters are disillusion with the economy, our huge national debt, failed Obamacare [the president’s health insurance scheme] and bloated entitlements.

There is a great expectation that the burdens on small business can be lifted and that there will be a leveling of the global trading field.

Voters are tired of corruption and bias in politics, where the culture is going; and the dictatorship that attacked Christians - Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor [legal cases taken by a socially conservative business and a religious group challenging their obligation under Obama’s health insurance plans to provide contraception to employees on the basis of their religious beliefs] - and made transgender bathrooms a top national issue.

Ireland will greatly benefit from a stronger US economy. On illegal immigration, while a large reality, there has to be a better solution that respects the immigrant and the rule of law at the same time.”

* A Trump hotel worker who voted for Hillary Clinton declined to participate out of concern that employees who spoke out for Clinton could be punished.

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