On Raleigh’s southeast side, the population is more than 60 percent African-American and overwhelmingly votes Democratic. In 2016, 92 percent of southeast voters favored Hillary Clinton. Less than 8 percent voted for Donald Trump.
In our panel of four random southeast Raleigh residents – all of them voted in 2016. None of them for President Trump. But 38 weeks until the nation decides its next president, all four remain undecided – wary of the infighting among democratic challengers.
“They’re all dragging each other like crabs in a barrel,” said Ricky Wall. “I understand that they want the job but nobody, well hardly anybody is saying what they’re gonna do.”
Bruce McPhail added, “Me, like many others, I’m tired of the promises. And not just tired, I’m starting to become allergic.”
Alyssia Hammond is our youngest voice. She’s 31-years-old with no children and feels the current crop of Dems is more of the same.
“I think that this whole election is so tiring because you have seen the same faces over the last 20, 40 years,” Hammond said. “Presidential elections need new faces and younger faces and diversity of faces.”
Hammond was not yet familiar with candidate Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old small-town mayor currently playing Democratic front-runner.
Princess Jeffreys, a 45-year-old wife and mother of four, is CEO of her own non-profit offering support services to small businesses. She has concerns with Buttigieg’s level of life experience.
“(His age) aids in helping get the, what do we call them now, the millennials,” Jeffreys said. “I think that’s where people have a common concern. In regard to yeah, you may have education, you may have a background. But have you actually been in somebody’s shoes — in regards to the issues of life.”
When we asked what their message to the candidates or President Trump would be, their answers often came down to the economy and a feeling that too few were benefiting from the economic growth.
“(My concern is) the minimum wage. Everybody say what goes up must come down. But the cost of living keeps going up. Where’s the minimum wages going up,” McPhail said.
Wall said, “The number one issue is the people. Last I checked, didn’t (the taxpayers) bail the banks out with our money? But now, to try to get a loan, you mine as well pull teeth with a tooth pick.”
We asked Jeffreys, are you better off than you were four years ago? “Yes,” she responded. But when we asked if she credits President Trump with that, “No, I don’t. I credit me.”
A recent Washington Post poll of over 1,000 black adults found 83 percent believe President Trump is a racist.
“I think trump is a racist. But I think he’s racist towards more than just black people,” Hammond said.
McPhail added, “To me, you have to earn my respect. But (Trump) didn’t earn it. He bought his way in one way or another.”
Wall said, “As far as black people, we’ve always needed to vote. Everybody rushed out to vote when (Barack) Obama was running. And then when it wasn’t him we went to let someone else do it.”
In this room of hometown voices, voters were decidedly against the current occupant of the White House. But still uncertain on the alternative.
“I think God used Trump as a divine plan. We may not like him, but it definitely has everybody on their toes,” Hammond said. “And everybody’s like what are we gonna do next.”
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