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A Trump Voter On The President's Year


Doug Jones faced long odds to win the Senate seat in Alabama's special election this past week. He's the first Democratic senator to be elected in Alabama in 25 years. And he beat Republican Roy Moore, even as President Trump endorsed Moore in the final days of the race. We're going to get two views on that race. First, David Wisdom - he's a 26-year-old law student and part of the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans of Alabama. Welcome to the program.

DAVID WISDOM: Thanks. It's good to be with you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And we've caught you at a mall. So in case we hear any of the noise behind you, you are Christmas shopping.

WISDOM: Yes, ma'am. I am.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Your group withdrew its endorsement of Roy Moore last month after multiple women came forward to accuse him of sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers. Are you happy with the results of the election?

WISDOM: You know, I'm really frustrated at this election. And it's because Alabama is about 60-40 most of the time in favor of Republicans over Democrats. And I think that it's a shame that we had a candidate that, quite frankly, is probably the worst candidate that we've had in the history of modern politics from Alabama - just a really flawed candidate caused a lot of problems with more moderate Republicans and younger Republicans in particular. You know, I'm kind of glad that Roy Moore is not going to be representing us. But at the same time, I'm not happy because we sent a Democrat to the Senate.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Right. Who did you vote for, if I may ask?

WISDOM: I wrote in Richard Shelby.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Richard Shelby is the senior Republican senator of Alabama. When you look at this vote, we saw Republicans initially repudiate Roy Moore but then fall in line. Even the president the United States supported Roy Moore at the end. What are your thoughts on that?

WISDOM: Well, I can understand that point of view. You know, I think with as many crazy things that went on in our election, I think reasonable minds can differ on how to go about your vote and going about processing what happened. I think if you characterized this election as, oh, Trump came to Alabama and lost - that you're mistaken. It's not about Trump. It's about Roy Moore and how people were protesting this candidate.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The Alabama race gave Democrats some hope about making gains in 2018. And the result was interpreted by many as a black eye for the president since he ended up endorsing Roy Moore. I understand you voted for President Trump in 2016.

WISDOM: I did.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you feel about him and his leadership?

WISDOM: You know, there are a few things - I really like what the economy is doing. I really like this tax package that's coming through. Now, the tweets I have concerns about, but I think a lot of Americans have concerns about that. Getting in fights with the media is kind of unnecessary and a distraction from the important policy goals that this administration has.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: David Wisdom of Birmingham, Ala., - he joined us via Skype. Thank you very much.

WISDOM: Thank you so much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.