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Defying Stereotypes, Trump's Supporters Appear Unwavering07:14
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, in Toledo, Ohio. (Evan Vucci/AP)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, in Toledo, Ohio. (Evan Vucci/AP)
This article is more than 4 years old.

It's easy to find Lou Murray's house on a street of trim homes in the Quincy neighborhood of Wollaston: It's the one with the Trump signs in the screen door.

Murray is ready to head off for work, dressed in a pressed white shirt and a red tie despite the sweltering heat.

He's bought coffee for our interview and made ginger cake with apple sauce. We sit at his kitchen table. He heads into the living room to retrieve an artifact from his childhood in Worcester.

It's a small Gadsden flag — the yellow flag that has become a symbol of the Tea Party. Murray ordered this flag decades ago when he was in fourth grade in 1976 — during the nation's bicentennial. Murray says he found the flag, with its rattlesnake and "Don't Tread On Me" saying, appealing.

"Just the idea of a native, American species that says: 'We're independent. Don't screw with us!'" Murray says. "I laugh when I see the flag now, because I say I was an early adopter."

In all his years of volunteering in presidential elections, Murray says he's never found so much enthusiasm for a candidate as for Donald Trump. He says his Chinese-American neighbors come to his door asking for Trump signs.

For about two weeks in this presidential election, Murray says he was with Ted Cruz. That was until he decided Cruz was too angry to win. Shortly after that, Murray saw Trump on C-SPAN at a rally with an American flag on stage.

"He [Trump] looked at the audience and then he wrapped his arms around the flag," Murray says, "and he gave that goofy smile that he gives and he put his thumbs up, and he stayed there for 45 seconds, and, over the course of the 45 seconds, the roar from that audience in Iowa grew larger and larger, and I said 'This is a guy who communicates non-verbally,' and in that 45 second clip, I said, 'He's going to win.'"

"Donald Trump's sunny, positive outlook about the future of the country will carry the day."

Lou Murray

Murray defies the stereotype of a Trump voter.

He appreciates George Wesley Bellows and Caravaggio. In Cleveland, at the Republican National Convention, he had hoped to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art to see works by these artists. A print of Bellows' "Stag at Sharkey's" hangs in his living room.

As a young man, Murray campaigned for Jesse Jackson. In the years since, he's returned to the Republican Party of his father.

Murray says he is not daunted by Trump's recent slide in the polls.

"Donald Trump's sunny, positive outlook about the future of the country will carry the day," Murray says.

Murray says he is not phased by Trump's recent comments. Take, for example, Trump's remarks in North Carolina earlier this month. There, Trump said that Clinton wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment, which guarantees that the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.

Many accused Trump of inciting violence against Clinton after he seemed to suggest that maybe there was something Second Amendment supporters could do to stop Clinton. That's not how Murray sees Trump or his comments.

"He's unvarnished. He's not polished," Murray says. "He doesn't run every single thing he says through a filter, but for anyone to believe that a man would give up a year or more of his life — flying, criss-crossing across the country on three and four hours of sleep, missing his sons and daughters and grandchildren and their events to be the president -- and then stand up and threaten his opponent with the guns of his Second Amendment supporters, you gotta be crazy!"

In Boston, amid the splendor of the Athenaeum's bookshelves, another Trump supporter belies some stereotypes.

A recent WBUR poll of New Hampshire voters finds Trump only leads Clinton among voters with a high school degree or less.

Writer Patrick Walsh, who also lives in Quincy, does not fit into that category.

"The party has changed," Walsh says.

Walsh is a graduate of Boston College and Trinity College, Dublin. He served as secretary to the U.S. ambassador in Dublin and, between writing book reviews, is considering writing a book of his own on Napoleon and the Irish.

Donald Trump supporter Patrick Walsh, a graduate of Boston College and Trinity College Dublin, says he believes Trump will win November's election by a large margin. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Donald Trump supporter Patrick Walsh, a graduate of Boston College and Trinity College Dublin, says he believes Trump will win November's election by a large margin. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Walsh, who grew up in Dorchester, says he has always supported Republicans.

"And I think that what Trump is doing is putting the party back on the direction where it originally came from under Reagan," Walsh says. "He talks about regulating trade, whereas people like Paul Ryan and some other Republicans, they want immigration, and they believe in this ideology of a world community, where you really don't have a sovereignty of a nation. You sign away your sovereignty to a trade agreement or to some international agreement."

Walsh says he is confident that Trump will win by a large margin because of the positions he's taken.

The WBUR poll finds Trump leads Clinton among men, but loses among women. Two women in a Quincy realtor's office go against that trend.

"What I like most about him is he's not a politician," says registered Republican Marilyn Manning.

Manning says she does not see herself as a political activist. She says she voted for John Kennedy.

Manning says she likes Trump because, like her, he has a business background.

"He doesn't say what I want to hear all the time," Manning says, "and he doesn't say it in a way I want it to be said. He's not polished. He's not slick, and I think probably less slippery — I won't say that he's perfect — but probably less slippery than most politicians. I find it refreshing."

When Ted Cruz dropped out of the race, realtor Cathy Sullivan Moran switched her support to Trump. She, too, says she has always been a registered Republican. And she says all her friends and both her siblings support Trump. Her siblings are law enforcement officers.

"We've had how many police officers killed this year? Just in one year alone? And assassinated because of the fact that they are police officers," Sullivan says.

Sullivan was shocked by the interruption of a moment of silence for fallen police officers at the Democratic National Convention.

"And what was chanted? 'Black Lives Matter.' I found that appalling, extremely disrespectful, but what was even probably more troubling was that nothing was said by the Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton, to my knowledge."

As the sister and daughter of police officers, Sullivan says she remembers when police were respected. She says: "There's no respect anymore."

And she is counting on Trump to restore that respect.

This segment aired on August 18, 2016.

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Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.

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