As part of a series of reports on how President Joe Biden's first 100 days are playing in a battleground district in Pennsylvania, former Donald Trump voters are grudgingly admitting things are getting better since the former vice president moved into the Oval Office and Trump moved out.
According to the NBC report, Biden voters in Erie, Pennsylvania are notably pleased with the efforts Biden has put in to get the coronavirus pandemic under control, get the economy going and provide support for struggling families.
Democrat Robin Westcott was effusive in her praise, telling NBC, "Back to blue, thank God. I thought the world was coming to an end."
With NBC reporting that the district was once reliably a Democratic stronghold, the report also notes, "In a region that has lost manufacturing jobs by the thousands, Trump's politics of blame and grievance connected with just enough working-class voters."
According to Erie Mayor Joseph Schember -- a Democrat who admits he sometimes votes for Republicans -- Biden has been a major plus for the struggling region.
"Schember sees Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan as particularly helpful for an area that was already struggling to transition to a post-industrial economy. He expects the coronavirus relief package will bring $79 million in stimulus funds directly to the city and tens of millions more dollars to the county government and neighboring municipalities," NBC's Henry J Gomez wrote, quoting Schember stating: "That's an opportunity like Erie has never had before."
As for Republicans, Robert Yates, who attended the 2016 GOP convention as a delegate and voted for Trump said he couldn't be more pleased with Biden.
"It's nice to have some competence in government back, and it's impressive what a stable leader can accomplish when he appoints competent, experienced people to execute a goal," explained Yates, a two-time GOP candidate Erie County Council who now calls himself a Democrat.
NBC's Gomez adds, "Even the staunchest of Republicans spare a few words of grudging praise for how Biden expedited the coronavirus vaccines. But they also emphasize that it was during the last months of the Trump administration that the development, approval and early distribution of the vaccines began," with Erie County GOP chairman Verel Salmon admitting Biden "hasn't necessarily hurt it."
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