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Are Pittsburgh-area Trump supporters turning their backs on president?

Alan Wallace
| Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, 12:33 p.m.
Two-thirds of Americans oppose launching a preemptive military strike against North Korea, with a majority trusting the U.S. military to handle the escalating nuclear crisis responsibly but not President  Trump, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.
Two-thirds of Americans oppose launching a preemptive military strike against North Korea, with a majority trusting the U.S. military to handle the escalating nuclear crisis responsibly but not President Trump, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

A focus group of 12 Pittsburgh-area voters took a dim view this week of Donald Trump's handling of the presidency during his first seven months in office.

NBC News reported on the focus group conducted "by pollster Peter Hart on behalf of Emory University." Among the 12 participants, five voted for Trump, "and each one of them expressed concerns about his failure to dislodge D.C. gridlock and communicate a positive message."

Insurance company president Tony Sciullo, a Trump voter, said, "The messenger is overwhelming the message."

"Don't attack those that attack you," said Brian Rush, who also voted for Trump as "the lesser of two evils."

"What everybody said, either directly or indirectly, was that his presidency's about him and it's not about us," pollster Hart told NBC.

Sciullo, Rush and other focus-group members said Trump lacks empathy, lacks social skills and doesn't seem to understand that when he speaks as president, he speaks for the nation. Charles Howard, identified by NBC as "an African-American Clinton voter who is self-employed," said Trump's tweeting divides the country.

"Almost no mention was made of the ongoing investigation into possible contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia during the 2016 election," according to NBC. But "almost all" the focus-group participants "indicated that Trump will need to make major changes to win back their confidence."

Alan Wallace is the Tribune-Review's assistant editorial page editor. Reach him at 412-871-2321, awallace@tribweb.com or via Twitter @AWtribopinion.

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