Charlie Simcik, a sophomore political science major, plans on voting for Donald Trump today in the 2016 presidential election, despite living in Philadelphia, a largely Democratic city.
A Philly.com article published last month reported Democrats outnumber Republicans in Philadelphia nearly eight to one, but some Temple students, like Simcik, still plan to support the Republican presidential candidate at the polls.
A study by the 2014 American Political Science Review found that Philadelphia was the 16th most liberal city in the United States. This might dampen support for Trump in Philadelphia, but on Main Campus, Simcik said he finds his views are respected by his peers.
“The comments I receive about my political persuasion have been mostly just people wanting to get informed, people who want to understand,” said Simcik, an intern for Youth for Trump. “It’s encouraging. It’s good for both sides.”
Jagger Bollendorf, a freshman biology major and a Youth For Trump intern, said he has also encountered open-minded people on Main Campus, despite their differing political ideologies.
Bollendorf said he feels students on campus look and think differently about him when he says he is supporting Trump because they simply don’t understand what Trump is trying to tell voters.
“I brought it up in class a couple times, my supporting Donald Trump that is, and you get a couple head turns and looks at you,” Bollendorf said.
As a media surrogate in Pennsylvania for the African American community, Calvin Tucker educates people about how Trump could potentially help the African-American community by cutting taxes, allowing for employment and economic growth.
Trump has faced criticism for controversial comments and minimal outreach to African American voters during the election. Tucker said some criticize Trump, citing the racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Trump by the U.S. Justice Department in 1973 — but he thinks those issues are in the past.
“If African Americans and minorities are to rise out of the conditions that we’re in, we need jobs, we need opportunity and we need entrepreneurship,” Tucker said. “Those are the things that I think are important to you and I, and if we want a person that understands how to do that, then Donald Trump is the guy to do it.”
Kevin Arceneaux, a political science professor, said although some voters disagree with Trump’s words or actions, they still support him because his platform adheres to conservative values.
“Among minority groups that gravitate toward the Republican party, the explanation would be the same explanation that you have for white voters who are Republican,” Arceneaux said. “Some of them are voting for Trump because he is the Republican nominee.”
Simcik said students of all political ideologies are welcome into an open environment at Temple.
“I think it’s encouraging to see kids of our generation and college age students being very open to entertaining ideas of all different persuasions,” he added.
Zach Kocis and Zari Tarazona can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.