In Kenosha, Wis., memories of unrest and rioting downtown.
Ask a political strategist about certain kinds of voters, and receive an explanation of who they are likely to support as a group, depending on their age, education level, religion, race or ethnicity. Real voters can sometimes scramble the conventional wisdom.
Plenty of outliers could be found at a single polling place in Kenosha, Wis., a swing county in a swing state, on the morning of Election Day.
Outside the Kenosha Public Museum, voters streamed out into the sunny morning every few minutes. Nearly every person was willing to stop and talk about who they had decided to support, a moment of catharsis after a long-anticipated vote.
“Donald Trump, of course,” said Derek Madsen, 31, who works in retail. “I just love Trump. He’s good for the gays.”
Mr. Madsen acknowledged that his admiration for Mr. Trump left him a bit isolated among his friends and as a gay man. Two close friendships had sputtered out entirely because of it. He blamed the media.
“I’ve been called a white supremacist, a racist, a fascist,” he said, adding that he gets his news mostly from YouTube and podcasts, and believed Mr. Trump had made the world safer and freer.
Stephen Mathis, a 56-year-old business executive from Kenosha, said his disdain for the Democratic Party began around 2004, when he was living in Illinois and feeling exasperated by taxes and regulation. A vote for Mr. Trump on Tuesday was a nod to his pro-business philosophy, he said, and the conservative values he had grown up with in his own large, close-knit Black family.
Mr. Mathis has 14 siblings. Only two of them are Trump voters.
“I’m truly the black sheep,” he said, bursting into laughter. “My sisters are always wanting to talk about politics. I never bring it up.”
Kelly Ingram, 35, said that as a health-care worker in a hospital, she has seen the coronavirus pandemic up close. Her own political preferences were all over the place. She voted for Barack Obama twice, and Hillary Clinton in 2016. This time, she voted for Mr. Trump.
It was an unusual flip. Ms. Ingram pointed to a unique set of circumstances to explain: the unrest and rioting in Kenosha in August that had left the city’s downtown damaged. Mr. Trump seemed more likely to take care of the business community and get things back to normal. “I have friends who own businesses,” she said. “I was thinking of them.”
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