Ex-Democrats Show Up at Trump Rally, Join in Cheering for Republican Victory


President Donald Trump was in West Virginia to make his final push for his chosen candidate in the Senate race there, GOP state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

He also had some help from an unlikely source: Some ex-Democrats.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, there was a line to enter the venue at the Huntington Tri-State Airport that began before noon on Friday, and it was filled with voters who wanted to see incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin kicked to the curb.

“I like Joe,” Trump told the audience.

“The problem is, I’m just not going to get his vote. He’s a friend of mine. I’m just not going to get his vote.”

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There were plenty of luminaries at the rally, but some of the most interesting were ordinary West Virginians who used to be Democrats but switched over to the GOP.

Take Dennis Egert. He was a lifelong Democrat who now finds himself a “Biker for Trump.” How do you make that switch?

“I got on board with Obama because of his shovel-ready jobs,” Egert told the Free Beacon.

“I got on board with Obama because of the health care. The health care snookered me. What it cost me I couldn’t get to use it. And when I took my wife off it, my stuff doubled.”

“Obama made me vote for Trump,” said Egert, who says he voted for Obama twice. “I followed him hook, line, and sinker. The stuff he was saying to me, it wasn’t happening for me.”

Dorothy McPhee was another longtime Democrat who got on board the Trump train.

“I have been a Democrat 60-some years of my life,” McPhee told the Free Beacon. “I switched over a couple years ago to Republican because I no longer can tolerate the Democratic stand on a lot of things.”

McPhee told the Free Beacon her most important issues were are “the economy, taxes, immigration, ‘draining the swamp,’ and the opioid epidemic.”

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“She said Morrisey and Manchin both benefited from pharmaceutical companies, with Morrisey’s prior lobbying work, and Manchin’s big dollar donations from Mylan, the controversial EpiPen maker whose CEO is Manchin’s daughter,” the Free Beacon reported.

“But at least Morrisey will stand with the president,” McPhee told the newspaper. “Joe waffles on everything. And I don’t want that.”

Do you think more Democrats want to switch to become Republicans?

Hard-hat-wearing Terry Bishop was another convert preaching the Trump cause.

“It’s got to be Trump all the way,” the construction manager and industrial engineer told the Free Beacon. “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Bishop converted a long time ago — during the Reagan years, which was the last time America saw Democrats become Republicans en masse. He said he sees a similar economic turnaround.

“I was just out back at this building, hiring in with a new contractor, it’s a five-year contract because of this economy, because of what (Trump’s) done,” Bishop said. “Life is good and it’s all because God is good.”

One could almost say, in fact, that Trump is managing to unify West Virginia. I thought this guy was supposed to be divisive. And here they are, all former Democrats, all cheering the president. Dare we call him “the great uniter?” I mean, that’s probably a bit much, but it would drive the folks at CNN up a wall.

Can Trump get enough of those converts to turn Manchin’s seat red? The polls would tell you, “no.” While Manchin is down from the double-digit leads he enjoyed early in the campaign, the RealClearPolitics average still has him enjoying a 5-point lead over Morrisey.

Of course, Republicans know that polls have been wrong before.

Be sure to check out The Western Journal’s election night coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. EST on Tuesday.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture