Trump Looms Large As Tennessee Voters Go To The Polls | Nashville Public Radio

Trump Looms Large As Tennessee Voters Go To The Polls

Jul 15, 2018

President Donald Trump is not on the ballot, but his influence looms over Tennessee's elections going on now. Some of the first voters over the weekend made their decisions based on the president.

Joe Haley is an AT&T retiree from Hendersonville who says he noticed all the Republican candidates for governor highlight their allegiance to Trump in their ads.

"You've got to research back a little bit and see what their past history has been," he says. "I'm a Trump supporter, so you see how I'm more favorable to whoever leans the strongest towards Trump."

Haley decided Congressman Diane Black is the most committed to the agenda of the president, who remains more popular in Tennessee than many other states.

But for Cajun McJilton, a stay-at-home mom from Gallatin, her vote was for anybody who opposes the president, even though she's voted for Black in the past.

"I mean, I have voted Republican before 2015 my entire life, and 2016 ushered in a whole new world for me," she says. "So I don't get into telling brown people they need to go back to where they came from or trying to take away marriage rights of other people. It's just awful."

McJilton also plans to vote for Democratic candidates in November.

Early voting in the primaries and local races runs through July 28. Election Day is Aug. 2.