Trump's not giving up on the election — and neither are his supporters

Allan Smith
·4 min read

EASTON, Pa. — With Donald Trump refusing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, some of the president's supporters in one of Pennsylvania's tightest swing counties aren't willing to budge either.

"I voted for Trump, and I'm really upset," Pam Wagner, a 65-year-old voter from Easton in Northampton County, told NBC News, adding that she would like to see a complete re-vote of the 2020 election.

Yet while some of the president's supporters remain hopeful he can somehow pull out a victory, others are accepting what appears to be inevitable — Biden taking office in January.

The election is "kinda a sore subject around here," one man who declined give his name said with a chuckle as he stood in front of a local gun shop and near a pair of large flags that read "Trump 2020: No More Bulls---."

Wagner, meanwhile, said she wants to see the president continue to fight no matter what happens with his legal efforts aimed at overturning the election results in multiple states — efforts that so far have either fallen flat or do not look likely to affect many ballots cast, let alone change results in at least three states Trump is trailing in by more than 10,000 votes.

Pam Wagner, 65, in Easton, Pa. (Michael Rubenstein / for NBC News)
Pam Wagner, 65, in Easton, Pa. (Michael Rubenstein / for NBC News)

She echoed Trump in calling the election "rigged" but, when asked what she found to be most unfair about the election, Wagner paused before saying, "I don't know." She then expressed disbelief that Biden could have won.

Northampton County was the Pennsylvania within Pennsylvania in the 2020 election. Home to Crayola and once buoyed by booming cement and steel industries, the county sits less than 90 minutes away from both New York City and Philadelphia. In 2016, Trump bested Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton here by 4 percentage points. In 2020, Biden holds a lead over Trump of less than 1 percentage point.

The lead mirrors Biden's statewide edge. In Northampton County, Biden won 49.7 percent of the vote while Trump brought in 48.9 percent. Statewide, those numbers are 49.8 percent and 48.9 percent.

Kenny Murphy, a 32-year-old Trump supporter from Northampton, called the election results "a bunch of bullcrap," but is resigned to a Biden presidency and referred to Trump in the past tense.

"He did a good job," Murphy said. "He's doing a good job. I'm all for him."

Image: (Michael Rubenstein / for NBC News)
Image: (Michael Rubenstein / for NBC News)

Back in Easton, Robert Thomas, a voter in nearby New Jersey, declined to say whom he voted for but encouraged Trump's legal efforts. He said he does not see evidence of widespread electoral fraud but instead sees a case to be made against Pennsylvania for administrative actions taken by the secretary of state without approval of the legislature.

"Do I think there was intentional malfeasance? I have no knowledge of that," Thomas said, but added that he believes the Constitution was violated.

On Thursday, a federal appeals court blocked the counting of some ballots in Pennsylvania that were subject to a lawsuit stating the secretary of state had no authority to unilaterally extend the deadline to Nov. 12 from Nov. 9 for voters to cure ailments in their mail in ballots. But those ballots are likely small in number and were already blocked from inclusion in the current total — one that shows Biden with a lead of about 60,000 votes.

Trump, now projected to lose 306 to 232 in the Electoral College, spent months sowing doubt about the election and then started to cry foul with votes still being counted, promoting misleading or false narratives about the election. On Thursday, his own administration and election officials from each state refuted his latest claims, saying in a statement there is "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Advisers to the president say he may accept the election results eventually but is unlikely to ever concede that he lost. Meanwhile, Trump has told some advisers he will announce a 2024 bid for the White House soon after election results are certified for Biden, a person familiar with the discussions confirmed to NBC News.

In Easton, the elation over the electoral results for local Biden supporters was soon met with the cold reality of their divided county.

Ron Hobbs, a 64-year-old Biden supporter, said the aftermath of last week's election is a product of Trump not being "used to losing."

He added that if Trump "would just calm down and accept that he lost, it would be all right."