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Trump garners support even in Walpole

September 9, 2015

The current Republican presidential campaign has taken an unexpected turn in the last few months, as political outsider Donald Trump consistently tops most polls in early primary states, including New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Trump’s rise is controversial because of some inflammatory comments he has made toward, well, a number of different people. But his base of support is made up of many disenchanted Democrats, unenrolled voters, and conservatives who are hungry for a political outsider that speaks what is on his mind rather than what focus groups want him to say.

A mini straw poll of some of Walpole’s elected Republicans and fiscal conservatives indicates that Trump’s message is resonating not just nationwide, but also here in one of the state’s most Republican towns. Although many local Republicans are officially undecided, Trump is generating substantial support here, closely followed by two other political outsiders who are shaking up the presidential race, businesswoman Carly Fiorina and neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Simply put, it is evident that Walpole’s leading Republicans are looking outside the political establishment for our next president.

Many of the Republicans interviewed as part of 180’s straw poll said they are drawn to specific tenets of Trump’s message, namely that he promises to remake politics as usual, he doesn’t belong to corporate donors, and he is making important points about issues like immigration.

See below to see who some of Walpole’s leading Republicans are supporting in the current presidential race.

180 also asked some of Walpole’s leading Democrats, School Committee member Bill Buckley and former Deval Patrick campaign leader Leslie Lockard, to share their own opinions on the current presidential field, but they would not comment on the record.

(180 will check back with all of these individuals shortly before the 2016 primary to see if their preferences have changed, and if so, for what reason.)

Victor Scena (Republican Town Committee Chairman, Precinct 8 RTM): Scena is a longtime supporter of Texas senator Ted Cruz, but thinks he may be ready to jump aboard the Trump train. Scena said that Trump’s position on immigration and trade, coupled with his outsider status are big draws for him.

Timothy Hempton (State Rep. candidate and Precinct 1 RTM): Hempton remains undecided at this time, but is interested in hearing more from Fiorina and Carson. Hempton also attended Ernie Boch, Jr.’s recent fundraiser for Donald Trump in Norwood, but said he was there only to learn more about him and doesn’t necessarily support Trump’s campaign.

“Presently, Donald Trump is serving as catalyst to get others to talk about compelling issues that matter to Americans,” Hempton said.

Richard Pilla (Chairman of Norfolk County Republican Committee, Precinct 7 RTM): Pilla remains undecided, and does not appear to have any favorites in the race. He told 180 he is looking forward to seeing how the candidates present themselves over the coming months.

Al Tedesco (Precinct 7 RTM): Tedesco, one of only a few libertarians in Town Meeting, naturally supports the only true libertarian in the race, Rand Paul.

Kenneth Guyette (Finance Committee member and Precinct 6 RTM): Guyette remains undecided even though the Wisconsin native admits he has loyalties toward Governor Scott Walker, who comes from his home state. “I love what he did in Wisconsin and he showed he can take a punch,” Guyette said of Walker. But he said he is open to supporting other candidates once he sees how the field plays out.

John Vaillancourt (Finance Committee member, Precinct 5 RTM): Vaillancourt is going with the Establishment choice, Jeb Bush. “He has the pedigree, money and connections to take on Hillary,” Vaillancourt said of Bush. “I think Trump is just playing an ego building game.”

Tom Brown (Sewer and Water Commissioner, Precinct 6 RTM): Brown supports Trump first, and Carson as a second choice.

Donna Donnellan (Longtime political activist, Precinct 6 RTM): Donnellan is undecided but is currently leaning toward Carson. She says that while Trump’s business experience may be helpful in the White House, “he does not have the proper etiquette to deal with international issues.”

Tom Bowen (Finance Committee member, Precinct 6 RTM): Bowen is undecided, but says “in a perfect world I would like Fiorina.” “She is smart and seems strong enough to stand up for what she believes in,” Bowen said.

“The establishment candidates bore me,” Bowen said.

David Salvatore (Selectman and Precinct 4 RTM): Although Salvatore is actually not registered with any party, Salvatore currently is leaning toward Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Walker, or Carson.

Christopher Donovan (Former Selectman candidate, Precinct 4 RTM): Donovan supports Trump because he thinks his outsider message is resonating.

“He is beholden to no one and can do no better than anyone else,” Donovan said of Trump. Besides Trump, Donovan also supports either Fiorina or Carson.

“We have witnessed the total decline of America at every level,” Donovan said. “[Trump] will bring sense and a common sense approach to everything.”

Russell Jones (former Selectman candidate, Precinct 3 RTM): Jones made clear that he is not a Republican. “I can see why people might think that [I am a Republican], as I always vote Republican as a way of choosing the lesser of two evils,” Jones said. “I would consider myself a conservative constitutionalist.”

That said, Jones said he is “cautiously in love with the content of Donald Trump’s message,” but also supports Carson and Fiorina.

“However, I took a survey that said my views are most aligned with Rubio. So, I guess I’m not sure. I only know that we cannot survive another Democrat.”

Jeff Padell (Precinct 2 RTM): Padell supports Cruz, although he disagrees with him on some issues.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Gino S permalink
    September 9, 2015 1:11 PM

    Sam, Sam, Sam,
    Dont get ahead of yourself. You had a well organized attack on the incumbents last year. BUT you showed your real colors and people are on to you. “Tom Brady not openly supporting candidates” His paper face at all the polls was foreshadowing his story….Only to be confirmed by his PAYBACK appointments!!!!!! If thats not a ONE TERM MODERATOR!!! He didn’t appoint balance at all. AND, THANK YOU for pulling off the wool! You have outed all the WOLVES!!!! Just like you targeted…….. elections happen every year
    Your use of Tom Brady wont fly again, and funny thing….I have heard that Tom is ok with that. But Sam, we all know you wont be. So my suggestion is, Enjoy!
    PS its ok if you delete this, it will prove the coward you are, when it comes to the keyboard and we have bets that you will

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