These Ohio Voters Made Trump President. They're Still With Him

Philip Elliott
Jul. 31, 2017

Bruce Logan is exactly the type of voter Donald Trump needed to reach, exactly where the President needs him.

A 70-year-old former salesman, Logan had been a registered independent who usually voted for Democratic candidates. Then, along came Trump, a brash businessman who was the anti-politician. The Youngstown resident registered last year as a Republican so that he could support Trump in his primary, and then worked to help him win the head-to-head general election against Hillary Clinton last year.

“He shoots straight from the gut. He’s not your typical politician,” Logan told TIME on Tuesday as he spent hours waiting in line to hear from the President directly at a rally. “He is exactly what this country needs right now.”

Adds his wife, 68-year-old, Carol: “He’s the first politician with rocks.”

They are hardly alone here in this corner of northeast Ohio, a one-time Democratic stronghold that also once was a hub of the American steel industry. Plumes of soot once translated into cash for union members and the merchants they supported. As in other cities in the industrial Midwest, times got tough—so tough, in fact, Bruce Springsteen chronicled the city’s downturn on a 1995 album. Then, things kept getting worse.

...To the most pessimistic Democrats, the crowds at Trump’s re-election rally on Tuesday night suggest their party shouldn’t even bother fielding a candidate in 2020. Without this region, there’s almost no way a Democrat can win this battleground state, and without it, it’s almost impossible to reach the 270 electoral college to send Trump packing. In other words, Democrats need to take back the Mahoning Valley if they’re going to take back the White House. And, given Trump’s showing here, that may be more difficult than firing up the Jeannette Blast Furnace at Youngstown Sheet and Tube, which went cold in 1977 and has stayed that way.

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