“We are all in the closet,” said a boutique owner in Southampton who fears reprisals from his customers — most of them moneyed Democrats — if he speaks openly about his allegiance to Trump. “It’s like you have this disease and people want to run away from you.”
A builder based in Westhampton worried that his customers would boycott his services if he reveals his support of the president. “People have really strong opinions here and if you go around wearing a MAGA hat, you really need to fear physical violence,” he said, adding the anti-Trump aggression comes mostly from summer residents.
Trump won 51.5 percent of the vote among year-round residents of Suffolk County in the 2016 election, compared to 44.6 percent for Democrat Hillary Clinton. In 2008 and 2012, most of the county voted for Barack Obama.