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20 Voters At A West Virginia Rally Say What They Think About The Midterms


As the midterm elections approach and early voting opens in many states, campaign season is at fever pitch. Both President Trump and others in his team have been busy shoring up support for red-state candidates who could further his agenda.

The small town of Inwood, West Virginia, hosted a rally Monday for Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey, who despite being outspent two-to-one has nearly pulled even with Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin in the polls. The featured speaker was Donald Trump Jr., who emphasized the president’s personal stake in the election: “Donald Trump is on the ballot in two weeks, make no mistake about that.”

I drove over to Inwood to hear the speeches, but mostly to talk with people in attendance. I asked them why they had come, what issues they cared about, and what they thought about the upcoming midterms. Here’s what they told me.

“As long as Morrisey stays on the Trump train, he’s got our vote. Trump is for America first, he’s for law enforcement — my husband’s retired law enforcement — and military. And our borders — we have to get our borders protected. We need more Trump supporters in the Senate and Congress, so Trump can do what he needs to do.” — Susan Piccione

“I think the midterms will determine whether we’re able to continue to improve the lives and freedom of Americans via foreign policy, economy, and domestic common sense — or whether all the work and accomplishment of the last two years will be attacked and hacked away by those who hate this country.” — Regina Smith

“I’m here for Patrick Morrisey because he supports Trump’s agenda. He’s for the state of West Virginia. I support the president because he supports jobs, and because of the tax cuts.” — Carol Olson

“I’ve lived in West Virginia for over 20 years. I’m a physician, and I have three PhDs. This misconception that West Virginians and Trump supporters are all uneducated is completely wrong. We’re well educated, well read. Let me tell you: Obamacare made the insurance companies rich, and it screwed over the average patients. My patients used to come in with $200 deductibles — now they’re $6,000. Obamacare was just welfare for the wealthy.” — Joseph De Soto

“I support Patrick Morrisey because of the job he’s done as attorney general. I think West Virginia is doing much better. We had 80-plus years of Democratic rule. We’ve had a few years now of Republican rule.  People are more optimistic about the future — and things are getting better.” — Samson Wright

“I don’t believe in what the Democrats stand for: abortion, taking your money from you, letting in all these people over here, trying to take your guns.” — Jack Showe

“I came out today because I believe in freedom. I believe in liberty. I believe in America. Freedom is very important to me: the First Amendment, the Second Amendment — they mean freedom for the American people. I think the American people are realizing that it’s time to get up — to stand up — and fight for freedom for future generations.” — Yeun Shin Kim

“Being in high school, it seems like everyone is a liberal and thinks ‘Donald Trump is bad’ or ‘Patrick Morrisey is a horrible candidate’ because he doesn’t support the things they support. But overall, if you look at what he wants to do, like for veterans — my dad’s a veteran — the benefits he wants to bring to the table and help support families, I think that’s really good.” — Morgan Sherwood

“At first I was a little skeptical about the midterms, a little concerned — because you hear a lot more about the masses of protesters. But I think [Republicans] might be able to pull it off, because we are usually quiet. We don’t always scream out or say too much, but we do show up to vote.” — Nikki Stoneberger

“I’m a big Trump supporter. He’s doing so much for our country, and he’s the best thing that’s happened to me in my almost 80 years: tax relief for one thing, jobs (not particularly for me but for my family), great things he’s doing for the military. The military went way down under Obama, and it’s coming way back up under President Trump. I thank him for that. They say the midterms are a bad time for the party that’s in power, but I think there’s a red wave coming.” — Ron Rice

“Patrick Morrisey will be one of our most conservative senators. Since the Kavanaugh circus fiasco, I think all of us Republicans are fully energized to go out and vote.” — Terry Courtwright

“I support Patrick Morrisey because he stands for righteousness and justice. I’m a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — I work with women in the Eastern Regional Jail. I see so much pain and suffering from the opioid crisis — it destroys bodies, minds, spirits, souls. We have to see a return to morality and righteousness in this country. The Bible said, ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,’ and how are we going to be blessed if we reject Him?” — Ujima Tyson

“We’ve had a lot of years of the same people in West Virginia. And not a lot has been changed or fixed. I’ve seen a little bit of change with the new [Republican] incumbents, so I’m ready to see what others can bring. I want to see a lot more cohesiveness — everybody working together to better West Virginia.” — Katherine Anderson

“I like Trump’s core values, the draining the swamp idea — getting some of the politics out of our government and trying to make it more for the people. I think the Kavanaugh hearings kind of woke everybody up. When people saw how that played out, I think that motivated a lot of people to get out and vote.” — Tom Beebe

“I was impressed — I told my husband just this morning — that Patrick Morrisey and Donald Trump Jr. would come to Inwood. It’s a small venue. I don’t expect to see Manchin down here.” — Susan Beebe

“If people are happy with the economic upturn, if they’re happy with America’s position in the world, if they’re overall satisfied with a non-politician president who has kept his promises, now is not the time to sit back and say, ‘Meh, it’s just a midterm election.’ We need everybody to come out and vote all the way down the line.” — Peter Onoszko

“We’re actually Democrats. She voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 — but she’s definitely planning to vote for Trump in 2020. In this race, we’re leaning toward Patrick Morrisey, because we want to see something different. We agree with about half of what he said here today, but we know where he stands, and we’re ready to see something different.” — Denise and Mercedes Speight

“I’m a Morrisey supporter. I feel like I have a lot of the same beliefs that he has, and also that he’s more for the people. It’s also nice that Donald Trump Jr. would come right here — normally we’d have to drive to Maryland or D.C. or Virginia for something like this. It says a lot.” — Emily Unger and Ciara Secola

“I came to see what Patrick Morrisey has to say, because Manchin, when he voted for Kavanaugh — I now have some doubts about him. We’re undecided voters at this point. Our options are open. There are some things [about President Trump] that we support, but some things we don’t. We want to hear positive thoughts on anything he can do for West Virginia — particularly health care.” — Chris & Mary Bennett

“I’ve supported Patrick Morrisey from the beginning. I think he’s a good conservative voice for West Virginia, to support conservative values, including the right to life. He’s had a consistent record. I also came because I wanted to teach my granddaughter about the political process and the importance of midterm elections.” — Sherri Bartin

“Joe [Manchin] does not stand for West Virginia. He’s stabbed West Virginians in the back time after time. On Second Amendment, he’s pushed for gun control that West Virginians do not want. Whenever the climate is ripe, whenever there’s been a big shooting, he’s threatened to bring that bill back again, every single time. He does not represent his constituents, period. He needs to be fired.” — Charles Horst