Carol Polsky published a nice report of interviews with 6 Long Islanders in Newsday. These are people that voted for Trump but maybe having second thoughts at least on some issues. We posted a similar analysis of working class voters in Ohio. What you can see by reading these reports carefully, is some erosion in voter’s confidence that Trump will live up to his campaign promises, i.e. will he lead us into war in the near east? Will health care insurance costs actually decrease as promised? Will he save healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions? Will L.I. construction businesses suffer if Latinos are all sent home, etc.
We must listen carefully to these people. Just as an example, I have reprinted one of the 6 case histories:
Bitakos, 52, has driven a taxi on Long Island for 15 years. He is an independent who “goes with the flow” and has become almost a one-man predictor of success in the past seven presidential elections. He voted for Democrat Bill Clinton, Republican George W. Bush, Democrat Barack Obama, and most recently, Republican Donald Trump.
Bitakos said he was drawn to some of Trump’s stances, even though he’d initially liked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who lost the Democratic primary race to Clinton.
Not long after the collapse of the first legislative effort in late March to repeal and replace Obama’s signature health care achievement, the Affordable Care Act, Bitakos gave his verdict: “He failed. They don’t have anything to replace it with so what are they going to do?”
Bitakos gets his health insurance through the expanded Medicaid program put in place under the ACA. “I need it . . . I’m diabetic, I get my blood pressure pills. If he throws everybody off and starts doing his own thing, we’re dead.”
For now, Bitakos is sorry he went with Trump. “I should never have voted for him,” he said. “I regret voting for him, honest to God.”
Trump had promised jobs and a stronger military and, “I like respect for the military and law enforcement,” said Bitakos, who hangs an American flag outside his home. “There were a lot of things I liked about him: I liked the patriotism about him, I liked the America thing, the America first.”
But he has quickly become anxious and frustrated. His complaints range from Trump’s frequent trips to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, to his possible connections with Russia.
“I don’t see anything happening with anything he’s doing,” Bitakos said of Trump.
“I just hope he doesn’t cause any serious problems with the Middle East,” Bitakos said. “I hope he doesn’t open up a big war because guys are going to get killed. And who knows what is going on with him and Russia. That’s the big question. But it’s too soon yet.”
It is not obvious how will translate into lack of support for downstream candidates (Zeldin for example, or local candidates). But as voters become increasingly frustrated, I assume they will want “the other party” in Nov 2017 and Nov 2018.