In this working-class suburb of Tampa Bay, finding people enthusiastically supporting Hillary Clinton is tough. Finding people enthusiastically supporting Trump is less difficult.
Finding people fed up with the status quo is a piece of cake.
“It’s not that I like Trump that much, it’s that I dislike Hillary so much. I don’t think [Barack] Obama did anything for us, and I see it continuing with Hillary. At least with Trump, there’s a chance for some change, and I’m all for change,” said 66-year-old retiree Ken Seekford, plunging into a bowl of soup at Jimmy’s Restaurant in downtown New Port Richey.
A lifelong Democrat who moved to Pasco from Maryland two years ago, Seekford is so turned off by Clinton that he switched his registration to Republican after watching the Democratic National Convention.
“Look at everything she was caught in,” he said. “With those emails, somebody asks her, ‘Did you wipe your hard drive?’ And she says, ‘What do you mean, with a rag?’ Come on, she’s smarter than that.”
Trump can’t win the presidency without winning Florida, and many observers question how he can win Florida if he fails to do better among Florida’s one in three minority voters. That’s not expected to happen.
So how is it that poll after poll shows Trump running neck-and-neck with Clinton, with a real shot at winning Florida’s 29 electoral votes? The answer lies behind the Advanced Auto Parts and Big Lots stores along U.S. 19, in 40-year-old subdivisions with names like Holiday Lakes Estates, Beacon Square and Regency Park.
Those who divide Florida into political territories call this corner of Pasco County Florida House District 36.