About 200 people gathered in east Minneapolis for a rally and march to denounce hate speech and hate crimes against Muslims. They marched to a nearby Republican Party office to denounce the rhetoric of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Protesters also denounced government surveillance of the Somali community. Photo by Fibonacci Blue
Harsh words about many groups including LGBT people, the disabled, African Americans, Hispanics and women have been at the forefront of this campaign season. Muslims have been particularly under fire amid the slew of terrorist attacks both abroad and domestically. Republican nominee Donald J. Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the US has helped unite Muslim communities and inspire voters to voice their opinions.
“I’m calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” Trump’s campaign said in a release in December 2015. Trump later said his ban would, in fact, be temporary. “It’s a temporary ban. It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it,” he said on Fox News Radio in May. Trump’s rhetorical attack on a Muslim family whose son was killed in Iraq while serving in the U.S. military, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques have added to the turmoil in Muslim communities.
Egyptian-American Yasmeen El-Shakh, a 21-year-old Rutgers University student, believes Trump and his stance on Muslims threaten the fabric of American society. “I feel it is deeply unconstitutional,” she said. “It goes against everything the US stands for which is the idea that your religion shouldn’t be a factor into how you are treated in the US, a country founded on religious freedom.”
El-Shakh is part of a larger Muslim community that has spoken out against Trump and his attacks on the Islamic religion. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has criticized Trump’s rhetoric, highlighting a few points about Muslims, including the proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, on its website. CAIR is also providing forums for Muslim Americans to voice their opinions on the upcoming election and address any specific concerns for their community.
Zogby Analytics, an independent pollster, conducted a survey asking Arab Americans who they plan to vote for on Election Day. The survey found 12 percent of Arab-Americans support Trump, while 67 percent are rooting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to become the next president. “The poll found that a majority of Arab Americans identify with the Democratic Party, the highest percentage since the 2008 presidential election,” Jim Zogby, founder of Zogby Analytics wrote on his website.
While the Zogby poll found that the majority of Muslims support Clinton, the Trump campaign has done little to attract this increasingly important voter bloc. According to the Hill, a top US political website, Trump’s foreign policy advisor Walid Phares did reach out to popular Muslim Republicans back in May urging them to organize for Trump. However, the outreach from the Trump campaign to gain support from the Muslim community has been anything but successful.
According to the US Census, there are roughly two million Arab Americans living in the US, and the Arab American Institute says 91 percent are planning to vote on Election Day. The Institute says, “Arab Americans live in all 50 states, but two thirds are concentrated in 10 states; one third of the total live in California, New York, and Michigan.” With such a direct attack on more than two million individuals, the Arab American community is speaking out.
American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) and the Arab American Institute are working to empower the Arab and Muslim vote in the US. Jennifer Salan, communications head at the Arab American Institute, wants to enable Arab Americans to make their voices heard. The Institute created the “Yalla Vote” initiative, meaning “Go Vote” in Arabic, to help Arab-American communities make a difference and voice opinions. The Institute is bi-partisan and has not endorsed a candidate but is generating excitement for the Arab community. “We host registration events at mosques, churches, college campuses and restaurants to engage everyone in the community,” Salan said, adding that “we are all stronger when we are all engaged and active in our communities.”
This year, the Arab American Institute is launching a ‘Yalla Vote’ hotline to respond to any voting questions prior to Election Day. “We at the Arab American Institute are doing our part to ensure that Arab Americans are registered, organized, informed and ready to cast their ballots on November 8th,” said Salan.
Faizan Riaz, a 22-year old student at Georgetown University, believes the “Yalla Vote” initiative is a good way to engage communities. “As a Pakistani Muslim, I find that especially in this election, it’s important to get out and vote and not just sit back and complain about the outcome,” he wrote in email. Riaz believes Trump and his proposed ban on Muslims further divides Americans and marginalizes minorities. “It really comes down to the fact that his rhetoric inspires so much hate and that some people don’t even notice,” he wrote. “It kind of reminds you of how the Japanese were feeling during WWII [World War II] or even the beginning of the rise of Hitler. You don’t know what’ll happen but you just feel this animosity around you sometimes that makes you scared to be where you are.”
While Muslims around the world are weighing in on the upcoming US Presidential Election, there is no question there is a sense of animosity among Muslim communities towards Trump’s campaign. As the election nears, Trump’s campaign will be put to the test to see if marginalizing this minority group will cost him the election.
The Dakota Access Pipeline project has been a strongly opposed development for the past 18 months. It would create a new underground oil pipeline designed to carry roughly 470,000 barrels of oil across 1,172 miles of land per day. The pipeline would pass through four Midwest states – North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois – connecting Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.
The most active opposition has come from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Sections of the pipeline would cut directly through sacred holy ground and potentially damage their water supply, so protestors have been drawn to the land to stop construction. Many camping at Standing Rock have faced attack dogs, pepper spray, and even fires being set to camp grounds.
Social media users across the nation took to action with the hashtag, #NoDAPL. Towards the end of last month, demonstrators in North Dakota requested Facebook users to check-in at Standing Rock. This was done in an effort to create a cyber smokescreen, and prevent local law enforcement from using the social media platform to target protestors. This past week, New York joined the fight.
Damien Davis stands in front of his politically themed abstract sculpture, “2016” at the Joshua Liner Gallery. Photo by Alexander Gonzalez
Alfred Steiner was inspired to create his politically-charged art curated exhibit, with the provocative title — “Why I Want to Fuck Donald Trump” — by the 1967 J.G. Ballard faux scientific abstract, “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan.”
“All of the connections to Donald Trump were kind of overwhelming,” explains Steiner, a former copyright lawyer turned artist. “Ronald Reagan was this actor who became a politician, so he came in it at the same angle as Donald Trump. … Reagan used the expression ‘Let’s Make American Great Again,’ and Trump is using the exact same motto for his campaign.”
Housed in the Chelsea-based Joshua Liner Gallery, the group show includes 27 works from 21 artists who capture the intersecting themes of politics, sexuality and celebrity through sexually explicit paintings and abstract sculptures.
Steiner’s two watercolor portraits, “Why I Want to Fuck Donald Trump” and “Why I Want to Fuck Hillary Clinton,” alluded to Ballard’s 1967 statement about “the probability of presidential figures being perceived primarily in genital terms.” Steiner depicted Clinton and Trump as a painted collage of phalluses and vaginas—a raw flesh-colored vulva replaced Trump’s signature hairdo while Clinton sported a knob-bob.
“My work is exceedingly vulgar,” Steiner said. “It is that way because I think there is this undercurrent that goes often largely ignored, and, maybe for the first time ever, has really bubbled to the surface in this campaign.”
His paintings often draw from pop culture icons, such as the Simpsons and SpongeBob, and have been exhibited in more than 20 international group shows since 2006. Throughout his body of work, he reconstructs cartoon characters using genitalia, food or household objects.
Steiner added a backdrop of election paraphernalia to his portraits of Trump and Clinton. Red and blue banners advertising past White House hopefuls, such as Mitt Romney, Ross Perot and John Kerry, clashed with the flesh tones of this year’s candidates.
Politically-themed portraits by artists Tom Sanford, Eric Yahnker and Jonathan Yeo are also on display in the exhibit. Yahnker’s “Hell Yeah!” portrays a lighter side of Hillary Clinton who sticks out a pierced tongue drawn with colored pencil on paper. In “BUSH,” Yeo captures a close-up of George W. Bush’s face composing a series of sexually charged scenes.
Daniel Cordani, an art teacher and artist, said he especially enjoyed Steiner’s portraits and Sanford’s “Trump Mao” and “Clinton Mao,” which refer to China’s former communist leader Mao Zedong. Cordani came to the show to support his friend Andrew Schoultz, who painted an American flag dripping with gold.
“These are violent representations of a violent political system,” Cordani said. “I wish more galleries were doing more representations of this ridiculous charade. … It’s a pretty sad state.”
After viewing the show, Jenny-Rebecca Lewis, a Wall Street lawyer, said that it had helped her gain a “deeper” understanding of the candidates. She was drawn to another Steiner piece: two prints of Trump and Clinton that swapped faces when exposed to the flash of a camera. Steiner embedded retro-reflective dots, a technology that reflects light to reveal a new image masked under the one visible to the naked eye.
“The switch of the candidates allowed me to remember compassion,” said Lewis. “That it’s not one or the other. We’re all interconnected in some way.”
Steiner stressed that he did not intend to curate a “facile anti-Trump show” although 12 of the 27 works in the show directly refer to Trump. He drew on Ballard’s work to address issues with the two-party system along with the conversation about sexuality and celebrity in politics Steiner, who has consistently voted as a Libertarian, said he plans to vote for Gary Johnson.
Unlike the art works containing overt references to unexciting candidates and corrupt politics, Damien Davis wanted to offer viewers a more open-ended, “cerebral” challenge. His abstract sculpture “2016” is meant to be an unapologetic critique of American society: 50 white teeth, 13 brown and black heads and eight vagina-like shapes “float” on a red-and-white Plexiglas plane held together with stainless steel screws.
“My work is really about taking this fixed set of iconography and seeing how much content, how much information or narrative I can generate by juxtaposing elements together,” said Davis, a faculty administrator for NYU’s art department.
The 31-year-old said he wanted “2016” to tell a loose history of the United States and its relationship to slavery and colonialism. His work often focuses on currency—emotional, intellectual and sexual. He explained that the 50 teeth represent slaves whose quality on the auction block was based on their dental health.
But Davis said he did not anticipate how the current political climate would inform his sculpture. “There are vaginas in the work. … Who would’ve known that a video was going to be released of Trump grabbing people by the pussy?” Davis said about sexual assault accusations against Trump. “The most interesting thing about this show is seeing its reading and interpretation play out in this extreme way over a short fixed amount of time.”
For more information and a complete list of artists, visit joshualinergallery.com. The exhibit will be on display until Nov. 12.
Leah Thomas and her father Greg Thomas.
Real-life “American Horror Story” – girl meets boy, girl falls in love; girl realizes boy is a Donald Trump supporter. We have all been exposed to this tragic tale. The obvious next step is to politely terminate the relationship, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
But what if the relationship cannot be terminated? What if the Donald Trump supporter is more than just a boy you met at a bar?
This was the perplexing dilemma I faced when I discovered that the Donald Trump supporter in my life was my father. A lifelong Republican, he claimed he simply could not vote for the opposing party.
So I decided to mount my own personal campaign to convince him to change his mind. I wanted to annihilate his support for Donald Trump.
My first step was to initiate what I referred to as a “Donald-a-Day.” Each weekday morning, my father would awake to his alarm and an email containing one crude Donald Trump quote sent by his lovely liberal daughter (I graciously gave him Saturdays and Sundays off). A quick Google search yielded more quote possibilities than coffee shops in New York City, but a few of the chosen ones included: “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” “I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke,” and “Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart. She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again—just watch. He can do much better!”
My father’s reaction ranged from confusion, with clarity-seeking responses such as, “What?” to exasperation, which led to his (failed) attempt of recruiting assistance from my mother. She remained Switzerland.
I then began drafting “Policy Pop Quizzes,” consisting of two policies/promises from former presidential candidates and one from Donald Trump, asking my father if he could identify which was The Donald’s.
a) “Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. This administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy.”
b) “A president is neither a prince nor pope, and I don’t seek a window on men’s souls. In fact, I yearn for a greater tolerance, an easy-goingness about each other’s attitudes and way of life.”
c) “Everyone knows I am right that Robert Pattinson should dump Kristen Stewart. In a couple of years, he will thank me. Be smart, Robert.” (Trump’s Twilight fascination was evidently amusing to me).
Following the release of the video of Trump’s infamous “grab her by the pussy” remark, I was disturbed and upset. Unable to understand how Trump supporters were excusing the so-called “locker room talk” with the all-too-familiar “boys will be boys” justification, I wanted to put things into perspective for my father. Tapping into my (mostly nonexistent) artistic side, I took advantage of Photoshop and plopped my face onto that of the woman linking arms with Donald and Billy Bush. Captioning it with, “What if it were me?” I awaited a disgruntled response from my father that never came. He had officially reached the point of ignoring my efforts completely.
My final, Hail Mary attempt required tapping into the deeply rooted emotions of my dad. Cue the guilt trip. This was my closing argument in the case of We the Rational People v. The Potential Demise of America.
I am being told by mom that you are still unsure of who you will be voting for come November. I fully understand that you question Hillary’s honesty. However, as your daughter, I would consider it a personal insult to your wife, your oldest daughter and myself if you were to cast your vote for Donald Trump … If you truly find that you cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I hope that you will find an alternative route through a third-party candidate or a creative write-in (I recommend Abraham Lincoln or Barack Obama).
Love always, Leah”
Finally, I won. My father ultimately vowed not to cast his Ohio vote for The Donald, but rather, Tito Marcona (former Cleveland Indians player).
It can be difficult to prevent this notably dividing election season from notably dividing you and your loved ones, but with a little genuine enticement, we can work to Make America Sane Again.
Mary Mountain stands outside with her Hillary sign, which has made her a pariah in her small town. Photo by Hattie Burgher
In the small town of Belfast, New York, population 1,600, Jim and Mary Mountain have become outcasts in recent weeks, shunned by their neighbors. Their sin: they are the only residents with a “Hillary” sign on their front lawn.
“We are kind of the exception to the rule,” chuckled Mary, 80, a retired postmaster and a lifelong resident of the town. “My daughter’s friend drove all the way from Rochester to Friendship and the only Hilary sign she saw was on our lawn.”
The Mountains live right along the major road in the area, Route 19, so if you need to get anywhere in the county, chances are you will pass by their yard.
Her husband Jim, now 82 and also retired, worked for Dresser-Rand, an industrial equipment supplier, and served on the Belfast Town Board. In his 12 years of service, he was the only Democrat.
Belfast is located in Allegany County, the third poorest county in the State. The county’s population is around 47,000 people, and its per capita income is $20,000 a year. Though economically poor, Allegany is rich with rolling hills, dairy farms, and pick-up trucks. According to the New York State Board of Elections, there are twice as many registered Republicans than Democrats in Allegany County.
So why do the Mountains vote left in a region that is a predominantly conservative? Jim says that he believes the Democrats are “for the poor guys, they are the first ones to help out the small guy.” He continued, “I don’t believe in giving everything to the rich, I’ve always been a Democrat for that reason.”
Mary said that she doesn’t understand why a lot of people don’t trust Hillary. “I think she’s a good person and they have given her a lot of trouble to get to where she is today.”
The Mountains, who are elderly and rely on many medications, fear that if Trump gets elected he will abolish Social Security and Medicare. “Those are good programs,” said Jim. “It would kill us if we didn’t have the Medicare. It would take everything else we got, it’s a big help.”
Their neighbors have not reacted well to the couple’s Hillary sign. “Yeah, they holler at us,” said Jim, who seemed to brush it off easily. However, Mary has experienced more severe taunts. One day she was out retrieving her mail at the end of their gravel driveway when a driver in a big truck yelled “F–K YOU!” at her. “I’m surprised someone hasn’t shot bullets through it yet,” said Mary of the sign.
The Mountain’s sign has certainly caused a stir in the area.
“I don’t know them, but I think it’s stupid to vote for Hillary,” said neighbor Anne Chamberlain,30 a stay-at-home mother and a registered Republican. “She scares me and I don’t have a good feeling about her. She reminds me of Hitler.” said Chamberlain.
Asked why she plans to vote for Trump, Chamberlain responded, “I guess he is the less of two evils.”
Darlene Redance, 34, another neighbor, is aware of the Hillary sign and does not approve.
“I don’t like it, I just don’t want Hillary as president. I don’t like her, she should be in jail,” said Redance, “I think Trump will bring this world where it needs to be.” She does not understand why the Mountains approve of Hillary, adding, “I’m confused about that one, doesn’t make any sense to me.”
A little bit further north along Route 19 lives Chuck Babbitt, a crop and dairy farmer. Babbitt, 63, is very enthusiastic about the GOP candidate and is baffled that his nearby neighbors don’t feel the same way.
“I think everybody ought to be voting for Trump,” said Babbitt. “I’m voting of Trump because I don’t want Hillary.”
Babbitt believes that Hillary would be just the same as President Obama.
“Obama doubled the debt in his term, where was the change we were supposed to be believe in?” said Babbitt. “I think he has been one of the worst presidents ever.”
Chamberlain, Redance, and Babbitt couldn’t exactly articulate reasons why they believe that Trump will help the residents of Allegany County and the country as a whole. Asked why Republican candidates are good for farmers and people in poorer counties, Babbitt replied “I don’t know about that one, I haven’t thought about it.” Chamberlain said that Trump wants to bring back the “Old America.” But what does that look like? “Basically before Obama” said Chamberlain.
Being a Democrat in a small town is like showing up to an Adidas PR Party decked out in Nike apparel. The Mountains are surrounded by people who may never see this side of the coin.
Residents of rural areas tend to vote Republican, a perpetual reflection of the urban-rural divide in politics. According to a an NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll, Trump leads Hillary 64% to 27% in rural areas across the states. Trump particularly does well among older, white Americans. Considering both Jim and Mary are in their 80s and white, they are defeating yet another stereotype.
Just as the Republicans in the town can’t wrap their heads around how the Mountains can vote for Hillary, the Mountains can’t wrap their heads around how their neighbors can be for Trump. “I have no idea why people are voting for him in this community” laughed Mary. “Maybe it’s because he has driven into people’s heads that Hillary is evil.”
Even though Jim is used to being outnumbered by his conservative neighbors (He and Mary both voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012), he is surprised by the large number of Trump signs he sees in his neighborhood.
“I don’t understand how there are so many. He has said so many things that are just off the cuff, not things that you would want to hear from a future president,” said Jim.
“Anybody that could vote for Trump could vote for that dog right there,” said Jim pointing to their dog, Milly. His wife interjected quickly, “Milly probably wouldn’t vote for him either!”
John Di Domenico, dressed as Donald Trump, grabbed a selfie with Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, after she appeared on Fox & Friends in September 2016. (Photo provided by John Di Domenico)
Before John Di Domenico donned the blond wig that would help him rise to worldwide recognition, he was hired to perform for the very man he’s made a career out of impersonating. For Donald Trump’s 55th birthday party at Trump’s Castle in Atlantic City, Di Domenico, dressed as Austin Powers, jumped out of a birthday cake to surprise the mogul.
Fifteen years later, winding down to election day, Di Domenico, dressed as Trump, stood behind Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in the green room of the Fox & Friends studio. “Kellyanne, you’re doing an absolutely phenomenal job,” he said from behind her as she poured herself a cup of coffee. “You really, really are, I have to tell you.” She jumped, turning around. “I know who you are!” she said. “Can we get a selfie so Mr. Trump can see it?”
As Donald Trump has gained prominence in the past year, other impersonators have joined Di Domenico in making a good living by playing the GOP nominee. Tim Watters, a former real estate agent who became widely-known in 1992 for his Bill Clinton imitations, now finds himself performing as Trump on a daily basis. Elvis impersonator Robert James McArthur has also been transforming himself into Trump.
Di Domenico is slated to appear in Canada on Election Day. “I had multiple offers but the one we settled on is in Montreal, of all places. It’ll be my fourth booking as Trump there in the past six months,” he said, adding that “the Canadians love Trump!”
These men weren’t new to the world of impersonation when Trump first announced his run for president in 2015; the three have a combined 58 years of experience under their belts. Once the initial shock of Trump’s political debut wore off, the three rose to the challenge. Di Domenico knew right away that he’d be dusting off his blonde wig—he’s been impersonating Trump since The Apprentice was at its height. Watters and McArthur had not considered dressing as the Donald at first, but after a little persuasion from their loved ones, decided to give it a shot.
“Impersonation is a subset of general entertainment,” said Di Domenico, a former stand-up comic, who explains that the demands of the job are very specific when you’re hired to dress and act like someone else.
Di Domenico began impersonating Donald Trump in 2004 after booking a voice-over as the tycoon. He has used his characterization of Trump for corporate events, constructing team building exercises based on The Apprentice. He’s gotten a lot of press and has made appearances on Conan O’Brien and Red Eye on Fox News, as well as on local talk shows in Britain and Australia. He also recently starred in a Blackpills original web series “You Got Trumped: The First 100 Days,” about the Donald’s first 100 days in office after a hypothetical victory. Released on Oct. 19 and available for streaming on Facebook and YouTube, the show—with a tagline of “Grabbing America by the pussy”—is as raunchy as most people would imagine a Trump presidency would be.
Watters gained national attention with his characterization of Bill Clinton in 1992. After perfecting the former president’s drawl, he appeared on The Tonight Show nearly 200 times; in 1996, he says that he grossed $1 million. As Donald Trump, Watters makes anywhere between $7,500 to $20,000 a gig, depending on the nature of the event. McArthur, who has been impersonating the GOP nominee since February, is now pulling in $750 an hour for Trump appearances at parties—$250 more than he charges for an Elvis appearance.
These three men, who look nothing like Trump, can transform themselves into the mogul within an hour. They do their own makeup, ringing their eyes with white liner to achieve the “raccoon-type eye” look, as Watters called it, while caking the rest of their faces with what McArthur called the “most orange makeup MAC sells.”
The wig is the next challenge. Di Domenico has three custom-made wigs, costing about $4,000 each, while McArthur’s wig set him back $750. Arranging the wispy blond locks to mirror Trump’s comb-over is the next step. “It takes several attempts to get the hair swept over right. I don’t know how he does it,” McArthur said. “I tried using his actual hairspray, which works great, but it’s the most awful smelling hairspray I’ve ever used.” (For the record, it’s called CHI’s Helmet Head.)
For Watters, the inspiration comes from the wig. “Once I put that wig on my head, it just automatically starts,” he said. Then, Trump’s voice filters through my end of the phone. “It’s un-be-lievable,” he said, elongating the syllables.
“I’m thinking like Trump all the time now,” Watters continued. “If I want to do a smart aleck answer, I adopt the Trump attitude. I will squint my eyes and contort my lips and I will answer as Donald Trump. It’s a little crazy, but it’s so much fun—I can’t help myself.”
Through his training as an actor, Di Domenico learned the importance of liking your character, so he finds himself straddling the line that separates the deep-seated hatred for Trump from the radical adoration that has ripped through the nation. He believes that if he comes off as a political partisan, his comedy suffers and it becomes less appealing to his audience of mixed supporters. Watters says he is non-partisan—but can be for a price—and McArthur says he rarely follows politics, only tuning in for the sake of his portrayal of the nominee.
These impersonators won’t be out of a job if Trump loses on Nov. 8. For Watters, it’s a no-brainer. Bill Clinton will return to Pennsylvania Avenue, and this time, “he’ll be hanging out in the White House with absolutely no responsibility. Oh man, that is a formula for fun, fun, fun,” Watters drawled. He’s not ruling out a Trump victory, however. “I’m already lining up a lot of post-election Trump work, as a lot of business people think he’s going to win,” he said. He’s also gearing up to launch two new shows after the results are in: “Trump vs. Hillary: The Debate Continues,” and “Bill and Hillary: Déjà Vu All Over Again.” He said the latter was written in a way that, with a few minor changes, could either depict Clinton losing in 2016 and running again in four years, or Clinton winning now and running for reelection. “It’s the best of both worlds,” he said. “Either way, I win.”
McArthur, with his deep, gravelly voice, has his musical characters, like Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley, to fall back on. Di Domenico isn’t worried, either; not because he’s working on a backup plan, but because he knows Trump won’t go quietly. “Trump himself has said: ‘I whine until I win,’” he laughed. “He will keep bitching and moaning ‘til they close his casket.”
At the end of the day, the job is really about making people of all political affiliations laugh. Di Domenico recalled a time where a Muslim woman approached him before a performance, stating that she didn’t like him. After the show, he said she made a point to come back to tell him that while she still didn’t like Trump, she liked his version of him. “That’s what I try to do with my performances,” he said. “I want to entertain everybody. I don’t want the character to alienate anyone. That’s really important to me.”
Graduate students from New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute spent a recent weekend in the swing state Pennsylvania, covering stories surrounding the 2016 Presidential Election. The Reporting the Nation and New York cohort spent the weekend in Philadelphia. Students in the Business and Economic Reporting program headed to Scranton.
Pennsylvania is known as a demographic bridge between mid-western states and the northeast states. Through this year’s contentious Presidential Election, various outlets, and polls have noted that Pennsylvania joins a select list of states that have the power to decide who will become the country’s next president. The state, which has leaned Democrat since 1992, has large pockets of red counties that can sway the state. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city, remains a Democratic stronghold, while smaller cities like Scranton, formerly Democratic, are emerging as Republican.
You can view the project here