Young Ashtabula County voters steer toward Trump

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Apr. 4—Ashtabula County has maintained its conservative stance, with young voters showing a propensity to align with this trend in the current election year.

CNHI News recently interviewed young voters for its "Pulse of the Voters" election series to see where they stand on the candidates, particularly former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, their parties' presumptive nominees for 2024.

In the 2020 Presidential election, Ashtabula County voted 60.9% Republican to 37.4% Democratic, according to Politico.

"People are looking at their pocket books in terms of inflation, housing, and healthcare," said Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas, a Republican who is Running for state representative in the 65th District, which encompasses most of Ashtabula and Trumbull counties.

"I think young voters are saying we aren't better off than we were four years ago," Thomas said.

Brandon Pierce-Ruhland, 22, of Kingsville, said he will support candidates endorsed by the Ashtabula County Republican Party in the 2024 election.

"I am voting for candidates who advocate for policies that align with my beliefs and enact legislation that benefit Ashtabula county as a whole," Pierce-Ruhland said.

"I have I have chosen my candidates based upon criteria such as effective communication, transparency, integrity, biblical morality and a commitment to providing definitive solutions for our community."

Other young voters from Ashtabula County shared similar opinions.

Joshua Alexander, 20, of Conneaut, said he will vote for Trump in November.

"When I look at the state of our country, it's filled with chaos," Alexander said. "Many within left and establishment right are afraid of the awakening Generation Z is having. Within Generation Z, most young men are overwhelmingly conservative.

"Young conservatives are calling for a more entrepreneurial spirit to be encouraged in this country as we see massive problems with the rising crime rates, endless foreign funding, the rising homelessness, attack on young women who desire to be mothers, the attack on strong young men who want to be leaders, the sexualization of children, wide open borders, the breakdown of American culture and last the hostility towards Christian values that founded this country. To make these changes, I personally believe that Donald Trump is the best candidate to bring us into the future of America."

Trent Calhoun, 19, of Geneva is leaning toward Trump.

"Border security is mainly why I'm voting for him," Calhoun said. "I really want to get out of the war with Russia and Ukraine. We've been spending a lot of money there. Although I don't agree with everything he says, I think he gets the job done."

Voters under 30 are tending to lean left of center overall and could make a major difference for Democratic. candidates, according to an NPR article.

Whether or not they will be able to turn out in strong enough numbers to help President Biden win re-election is unclear.

On Bridge Street, many young people seemed to be disillusioned with politics and said they planned to sit out the election.

Overall, it seems that young voters here in Ashtabula county will be leaning right come election time.

"Younger voters in our area are still going to be supporting conservative values in this upcoming election," Thomas said. "Looking at how many younger people are involved in our government in the county is a very strong indicator of our future."