Steve Janson, a Donald Trump supporter from Tacoma, is happy to see Trump is elected as the president. He hopes Trump will make the repeal of Obamacare the first priority after he is inaugurated. John Gillie jgillie@thenewstribne.com
Steve Janson, a Donald Trump supporter from Tacoma, is happy to see Trump is elected as the president. He hopes Trump will make the repeal of Obamacare the first priority after he is inaugurated. John Gillie jgillie@thenewstribne.com

Elections

Trump voters say distrust of Clinton was a big motivator

November 09, 2016 7:28 PM

Outside Jimmy’s 94th Ave. Pub near Gig Harbor, Don Lippincott pulled a political prank Wednesday.

“I gotta get this done before the owner catches me,” he said.

Swiftly, he added letters to the pub’s portable marquee. Between SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS 6.99 and T-BONE STEAK SAT, he added a tease: GO HILLARY.

Stepping back to survey his handiwork, Lippincott laughed, snapped a photo with his phone, posted the image to Facebook and took down the letters.

It was a joke aimed at the pub’s owner, a staunch Donald Trump supporter.

Lippincott, 62, confessed he wasn’t quite as fervent — he didn’t much care for either candidate.

“Honestly, the greatest country in the world, and that’s the best we can do?” he asked. “We weren’t really voting for Trump. We were voting against Hillary.”

Overall, election returns show Pierce County voters favored Hillary Clinton for president by a 50 percent to 41 percent margin over Trump — but in rural areas such as the Key Peninsula, supporters of the Republican candidate were plentiful and pleased with Tuesday’s national result.

Overall, election returns show Pierce County voters favored Hillary Clinton for president by a 50 percent to 41 percent margin over Trump — but in rural areas such as the Key Peninsula, Trump supporters were plentiful and pleased with Tuesday’s national result.

“I’m so glad, I’m so thrilled,” said Bertha Shafer, 81, who took time from a round of pool at the 94th Ave. Pub to explain her choice.

“I am glad, and it was something I wanted and (Trump’s) gonna be the best president that there ever was, because he believes like I do,” she said. “He’s human, hasn’t been in politics. He knows what’s going on around here.”

Shafer said she would have voted for Clinton in 2008, had she prevailed in the presidential primaries against Barack Obama. This year was different.

“She was so crooked, and they’re just covering it all up,” Shafer said.

Sitting next to a pile of pull tabs and a pitcher of Budweiser, pub patron Douglas Rider, 59, said he held his nose and voted for Trump, though he didn’t feel that great about it.

“There is an underlying attitude across America, out of the big cities and in the rural places, that we ain’t getting fairly represented,” said Rider, who retired from construction work and lives on a disability pension.

“The government’s running off on us, and we don’t like the laws we have to follow, because we don’t particularly like the way government’s functioning anyway. If Trump and the Republicans don’t figure it out, then the Dems are gonna get another shot at it.”

There is an underlying attitude across America, out of the big cities and in the rural places, that we ain’t getting fairly represented.

Douglas Rider

Meanwhile in Puyallup, Trump supporters were clearly pleased that their candidate had prevailed.

“I’m excited, totally surprised and amazed,” said Doug Looker, enjoying a beverage with friends at Bumpy’s Tavern downtown.

He voted for the billionaire businessman because he was tired of politics as usual.

“It was a vote for change,” said the former construction company owner from Parkland.

His main concern was the economy, he said.

“I think we can do considerably better under Trump,” he said.

The stimulus designed to end the Great Recession came too late and was mishandled, he said.

Puyallup hairdresser Jen Gross said she is a Trump supporter, but she remains somewhat anxious about his deportment as president.

“He needs to learn to be a diplomat,” she said.

Nonetheless, she said, she has hopes he will help small businesses and reduce regulatory complexity.

She said she was concerned initially about some of Trump’s remarks about women and minorities, but she decided he didn’t mean those comments sincerely.

“I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t made remarks in private that they didn’t mean 100 percent,” she said.

Other people lunching in Puyallup bars and restaurants Wednesday were reluctant to speak about politics on the record.

“Just say that I’m very pleased at how it came out,” said one voter who declined to give his name.

Steve Jensen, a homebuilder from Tacoma, said he was happy Trump was elected.

“I think it’s good for the country,” he said. “We’ve got real issues with the deficit, with jobs and immigration.”

Once Trump is sworn in, he should make health care his first priority, Jensen said.

“Obamacare. It’s too big of a drain on the country and on small business,” he said. “Business regulation is just choking small business. There’s just too much red tape, too much regulation.”

At Drive-Thru Feed on the Key Peninsula, Andrew Michaelson worked the fenced entry to the lot, which provides propane as well as feed, and explained that Democrats pushed a flawed nominee.

They put their money on the wrong person. (Hillary Clinton’s) track record and experience of success didn’t override the corruption and the perception. She put herself in the situation of having her integrity brought into question. Nobody else did that.

Andrew Michaelson

“She’s a crook,” said Michaelson, 42. “They put their money on the wrong person. Her track record and experience of success didn’t override the corruption and the perception. She put herself in the situation of having her integrity brought into question. Nobody else did that.”

Like others who voted Republican, Michaelson said his choice was more anti-Clinton than pro-Trump. He voted for independent candidate Ross Perot for president in 1992, his first legal vote — even then, Michaelson thought an outsider, a businessman, might be the better option.

He’s not worried about Trump making poor decisions. Advisers will be on hand. The government doesn’t move at the whim of one person.

It’s not like (Trump) can just go in there and start writing things,” Michaelson said. “We hope that he goes in there and does the right things as he advertised and that he is humble enough to accept the things that he cannot affect or change.

“All I want to see is that he make some progress.”

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486, @seanrobinsonTNT

John Gillie: 253-597-8663

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for unlimited digital access to our website, apps, the digital newspaper and more.