President-elect Trump surprises, pleases Henry County voters
BY KARYN SPORY
Mt. Pleasant News
Surprised. That’s how Wanda Thomas felt when she woke up this morning to find Donald Trump’s name behind the title of President-elect.
Her husband, Duane, who had pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows when she answered, nodded his head after a few moments of silence. “Surprise would be a good word,” he said. “Not only a surprise to us but to the pollsters as well.”
The couple, who were taking a morning walk around the Iowa Wesleyan University campus a little after 7:30, laughed when they were asked if they’ve ever seen pollsters get the election so wrong.
“Harry Truman,” they said with a wry smile. “I guess that tells you how old we are,” Wanda added. The duo were remembering national headlines that read “Dewey Defeats Truman” following the 1948 Presidential Election, where Truman was incorrectly labeled as losing his second term.
Tuesday night pollsters for cable and network news stations placed a thin veil over their assumptions that Secretary Hillary Clinton would emerge from the night victorious, citing Trump had a very narrow path to victory. However, as the night progressed and precincts in battle ground states reported numbers closer and closer than anyone expected, it was Clinton’s path to the White House that began to narrow.
As of deadline, Trump sits with 276 electoral votes to Clinton’s 218. Trump turned Henry County red by earning 5,764 votes as opposed to the 2,896 Clinton garnered.
Bruce Noble watched the results trickle in until Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said the Democratic nominee would not be addressing her supporters. “I stayed up until Podesta told everyone to go to bed, so I went to bed. I was happy at that point,” he said.
Noble was celebrating Trump’s win with his morning coffee buddies at Hardees.
“The biggest thing was people were ready for change,” said Gene Christner.
Alvin Moutrie agreed. “You’ve got the oligarchy and you’ve got the peons and we’re tired of the oligarchy running everything.”
Lane said it was that drive to upend that status quo as the reason he knew Trump would prevail. “Let’s just hope he can do some of the things he said he would.”
“Even just a third of what he said,” Bob Boese interjected, “that would be a big change.”
Christner, however, has a bit of a grim prediction. “It’s going to be politics as usual,” he said. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
Harold McShane doesn’t believe it will be politics as usual with Trump at the nation’s helm. “I think he’s going to follow through,” he said. He specifically cited Trump’s claim during the second presidential debate that he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
In July, and again days before the election, FBI Director James B. Comey said the agency would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton, but that she and her staff had been careless with their handling of classified information.
“I liked him from day one,” said a very pleased Harold McShane. “I liked that he talked right to the people, in everyday language.”
McShane’s wife, Linda, said she was just happy the election was over and the country can begin to settle down. “I think the best thing he can do is to do what he said he would. I think he understands we’re working class and we have all we can handle right now.”
Iowa Wesleyan sophomore Brianna Zepeda doesn’t know if Trump can unite the nation. “I’m angry,” she said. “I don’t feel he deserves it. He lied too many times and I can’t believe what comes out of his mouth.”
In the end, Duane Thomas said he probably shouldn’t have been surprised by the end result. “He beat out 16 other candidates (for the Republican nomination). He’s ran a stronger (campaign) it seemed than anyone thought he could,” he said. “This morning he said he would serve as President for everyone. We can only hope.”