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Philly's Democratic Voters Surprised That Rural Votes Boosted Trump


But now let's turn to a city that voted heavily for Hillary Clinton - Philadelphia. Pennsylvania surprised many this election when the state narrowly went for Donald Trump. It's the first time since 1988 Pennsylvania picked a Republican for president. Most of those votes came from rural areas.


Philadelphia, with its large African-American population, went the other direction. More than 80 percent of voters there chose Clinton. NPR's Jeff Brady reports that has a lot of people in the City of Brotherly Love wondering about the future.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: In Philadelphia's Mount Airy neighborhood, Shawnese Givens ducks under an awning out of the rain.

SHAWNESE GIVENS: You know, I have faith in people that we do the right thing at the end of the day. And so to see that we elected a man who ran on a platform of hatred, I'm stunned.

BRADY: Givens voted for Hillary Clinton and says she's trying to stay positive, but she worries about the future when Donald Trump is president.

GIVENS: I'm a queer woman. I'm in a same-sex relationship. I'm a black person. And I wonder, all those bizarre and hurtful things that he said, what are the results of that going to be?

BRADY: For example, she worries about losing the right to marry her partner someday. Nearby, Mark McLeod is walking out of the post office and says he's thinking about immigration, specifically Trump's proposed wall on the Mexican border and restrictions on Muslim people immigrating to the U.S.

MARK MCLEOD: I'm Muslim, so my extended family of Muslims - yes, I'm concerned about that.

BRADY: When McLeod takes a step back and looks at where he sees the U.S. right now, it's not what he thinks America should be.

MCLEOD: I'm actually a veteran. So I, at one point, did sign a blank check for the U.S. government to do what it wanted with me. This wasn't what I expected is, you know, the benefit of having, you know, laid my life on the line, so to speak, for my country.

BRADY: McLeod says he's focused on four years from now and the next presidential election. Celeste Gaines says she also voted for Clinton. And when it became clear Trump had won Pennsylvania...

CELESTE GAINES: I actually cried. I've been voting since I was 18 years old. This is a big deal to me.

BRADY: Gaines says she voted for Barack Obama, the first African-American president. She wanted to be part of history again and help elect the first woman president. Gaines says Wednesday was a sad day in Philadelphia. Everyone in her office was quiet. She says it'll get better with time.

GAINES: We, as African-Americans, have always struggled in this country anyway, but we make it. And you keep pushing through whatever's going on.

BRADY: For most people here, this was how they responded to an election that didn't go their way - by pushing on with their day. Others took to the street. Police say a large crowd marched through Center City in a protest last night. Jeff Brady, NPR News, Philadelphia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jeff Brady is a National Desk Correspondent based in Philadelphia, where he covers energy issues and climate change. Brady helped establish NPR's environment and energy collaborative which brings together NPR and Member station reporters from across the country to cover the big stories involving the natural world.
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