At the Trump events, it’s big, if mostly unspoken. At the Butler rally, Kori, from Freeport, said her sister and her father did not vote for Trump in 2016 but plan to vote for him this time. Dana, from Lower Burrell, said she knew people involved in the oil and gas industry who did not vote at all in 2016 but who plan to vote for Trump now. “Biden will shut us all down,” she said. “We’ll be out of work.” Van, from Canonsburg, was one of them. Also in the oil and gas business, he said he did not vote for 25 years. Now, after a few years of oil and gas prosperity, he said he will definitely vote for the president.
At the Ivanka Trump event — held in the middle of rolling farmland on a chilly afternoon — Barb, from Baden, Pennsylvania, said that back in 2016, “I didn’t even know my neighbors were Trump supporters until election night.” Shannon, who identified herself only as a Pennsylvania voter, said, “You don’t tell everyone you know that you support Trump. Seventy-five percent of the people I work with are against Trump. And it’s worse now [than in 2016]. A lot of people are afraid to speak up.” Added Laura, of Daisytown, “There are people who are fearful of losing their jobs if they support Trump.”
At the road rally, nearly everyone said they knew someone who is too fearful, or intimidated, or just too private, to say they will vote for Trump. “I know people in their 50s who haven’t voted in their entire lives, and they’re going to vote for Trump,” said Patrick, from Beaver County. Bradley, from Monroeville, said he not only knew such people, but he was close to them. “I’ve got family who have never voted,” he said.