Donald Trump is sinking in the polls as Election Day nears, but he says a “silent majority” will propel him to the White House.
Trump supporters in liberal-leaning Tallahassee say they’re either paying the price for their views, or keeping their presidential choice to themselves.
Call it the Trump Factor. Since the Access Hollywood hot-mic video surfaced, Trump supporters at the highest levels have distanced themselves from the brash billionaire.
Governor Rick Scott heads a Trump super pack, but Scott insists he’s been too busy managing disasters to join Trump on the campaign trail. Scott is widely believed to be considering a U.S. Senate run.
“June, July, August, September, October. We’ve had Pulse, we’ve had two hurricanes, we’ve had Zika, so it’s been an active time.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is another Trump supporter and conspicuous no-show at Trump’s Florida rallies. Rubio and Scott have political careers at stake.
But rank and file supporters in Tallahassee say they’re getting their yard signs vandalized or even having bumper stickers torn from their cars. When asked to talk on the record, some declined to give their full names or say where they worked.
Twenty-year-old Florida State University student Emily Galant said she’s been shunned on Facebook.
“A lot of my friends will make posts, like, if you support Donald Trump, please unfriend me on Facebook. And I keep my friends very close to me and I would never ask them to unfriend me, or lose a friendship just because of something they believe in, I think that everyone can disagree and still be friends. But unfortunately, a lot of my friends can’t do that.”
Mariann Sabolic thinks Trump is the best choice to strengthen the military so she felt a responsibility to attend his rally. Sabolic didn’t mind giving her name, but wouldn’t say where she works.
“It hasn’t cost me any friends, but…you are called names…..(laughs,) and we just let that go.”
Fifty-five-year-old disabled Air Force veteran Tony Super traveled from the Western Panhandle to a Tallahassee rally. He says he’s lost more than 40 Facebook friends.
“Just disagreeing with my comments or my viewpoints. That’s alright with me. I’m one to speak my mind and my viewpoint and if people are living in a fantasy world or something and don’t see the truth that’s out there, so be it.”
Most of the Trump supporters say the healthy turnout in Tallahassee gives them hope that the polls, like the pundits who wrote Trump off from the beginning, are wrong.