“In the last couple years, the Democrats had kind of been losing the work, and I thought Trump might get us that work,” he said. “And to be honest, I’ve been in construction 21 years and the last two years were the best years I’ve ever had.”
He voted for the Democrat in the midterms because he liked his ideas on less polarizing local issues, like veterans affairs and opioids, while he said the Republicans were too focused on Washington politics. He has also been intrigued by Bernie Sanders. But he’ll probably back Mr. Trump again, he said.
Mr. Townsend, who lives just outside Scranton, is in a district that swung from a 12-point victory for Barack Obama to a 10-point win for Mr. Trump in 2016. On the same day in 2016, the district voted to re-elect its Democratic congressman, Matt Cartwright, who won again in 2018.
The district’s continued Democratic tilt down-ballot, even after it flipped at the presidential level, bears out the tendency of congressional races to lag geographic shifts in presidential elections, particularly if the district is controlled by the party out of power.
Nowhere was that more true than in the South, which remained Democratic in the House for decades after Republicans started carrying it in presidential elections.
Danny Destival, 56, who runs a greenhouse supply business in Panama City, Fla., said he’s “been a Southern Democrat all my life.” But in 2016, he cast his first Republican vote because he liked that Mr. Trump was a businessman, not a politician — and he disliked Hillary Clinton.
His main priority is voting for “the person who’s going to get more done” — that’s why he stuck with the Democrats in the midterms — but at the national level, he said, the Democrats have disappointed him on that front.