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Georgia Voters Mixed On Trump's Speech


We're checking in this morning with people around the country about the president's speech, what they thought of it. In Huntington, Calif., 21-year-old Trump voter Abigail Stagmeier (ph) was impressed.

ABIGAIL STAGMEIER: I would say one quote that really stood out to me was he said, my job as the president is not to represent the world; my job is to represent the United States. And I think so many of Americans were really looking for that and him, as a president, just really to promote American ideals before concerns of the rest of the world.

MARTIN: And for the view from Georgia, we turn now to Johnny Kauffman from member station WABE in Atlanta.

JOHNNY KAUFFMAN, BYLINE: George Morgan (ph) is no fan of Donald Trump. But, still, he was relieved by the tone of Trump's speech.

GEORGE MORGAN: I get to breathe and say, OK. It might not all fall apart (laughter). There's something salvageable here.

KAUFFMAN: Morgan represents how the Atlanta area is becoming more diverse and democratic. He's young, African-American and an assistant principal. Morgan says the inflammatory things Trump said during the campaign won't just go away.

Republican Marissa James (ph) is the kind of voter who used to dominate this part of the state. She's middle-aged and currently unemployed. And James can't figure out why Democrats won't work with Trump.

MARISSA JAMES: Just by the looks on their faces, the not clapping, the not standing, I don't understand how they can't want better for America. There is nothing he said that - how could you not want that for your own family?

KAUFFMAN: Republicans have long dominated the northern suburbs of Atlanta. But last fall, Trump won them narrowly due to voters like Jeff Finesmith (ph). He's a consultant and a lifelong Republican who voted for Ronald Reagan. But he voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump. Still, Finesmith says he liked most of Trump's speech. He's on board with a more aggressive approach to fighting ISIS and Trump's America-first trade policies.

JEFF FINESMITH: The problem is I don't believe him. I don't have any reason to believe the things he's said.

KAUFFMAN: And Finesmith says Trump's tweets and insults will make it hard to work with Congress.

FINESMITH: And that's not a way to have a successful nation.

KAUFFMAN: Finesmith doubts he'll ever be able to support Trump. But he says the positive tone Trump took in his speech makes him a little less resistant to the idea. For NPR News, I'm Johnny Kauffman in Atlanta. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Johnny joined WABE in March, 2015. Before joining the station, he was a producer at Georgia Public Broadcasting, and NPR in Washington D.C.