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Republican spirits aren’t dampened in this pocket of Philadelphia’s suburbs

“I’ve known [Trump] personally. Very smart man.”

CREDIT: Alan Pyke, ThinkProgress
CREDIT: Alan Pyke, ThinkProgress

EAST LANSDOWNE, PA — This working-class community in Delaware County, just across the river from West Philadelphia, is expected to go for Clinton overall. But that isn’t dampening Republican spirits outside the polls at Faith Emanuel Lutheran Church, where fall leaves swamp “We Support Our Police” signs in more than a few front yards.

“What has [Obama] really done for our nation? He’s done stugotz,” said Marion Fitti, a member of a nearby school board and a leader with the local Republicans. Fitti wouldn’t quite say she hopes Trump pulls it off on Tuesday. She doesn’t much care for either candidate at the top of the ticket. But she plans to spend much of the day Tuesday at this and other polling places in this part of the county, talking to people about the issues that matter most to her: education funding, infrastructure money, and rebalancing the government’s attention toward middle-class families.

“The poor are already helped, they’re subsidized through welfare and everything,” she said. But her son couldn’t get low-interest student loans because they’re not in the right income bracket.

The presidential race wouldn’t be so close, Fitti said, if Donald Trump would have just kept his cool and presented himself as a businessman.

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“I’ve known him personally. Very smart man,” she said. When Fitti helped raise $40,000 for autism research a few years back, word came down Trump was going to give another $10,000. Fitti was hardly satisfied, and when she got a chance to meet him she pressed him on it.

“I told him, tell you what, let me get my charge card out and swipe it up your cazool and well see what comes out,” she said, adding that he laughed — and then started matching her group’s fundraising dollar for dollar every year after that.

In the end though, Democrat Robert Davidson told ThinkProgress, this part of Delaware County is just too blue for Trump. Davidson, husband of state legislative candidate Margo Davidson, pointed out that President Obama won about 70 percent of his wife’s district last time out, because “a lot of the Republicans here split their vote.”

Voter turnout here was high early on Tuesday, Mayor John Dukes said. He’s ready for it all to be over. “Worst election I’ve ever seen,” said Dukes.