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Donald Trump voters revisit the president’s performance

Roger Eltringham, a Trump voter, in his office

Roger Eltringham, a Trump voter, in his office in Westbury, April 26, 2017. Credit: Ed Betz

In May 2017, Newsday interviewed Trump voters from Nassau and Suffolk counties who agreed to discuss the president’s performance after his first 100 days in office. Newsday reached out to some of them again this month to gauge their opinions after Trump’s first year in office.

LUIS LOPEZ, Levittown

Retired NYPD sergeant who owns a security business

“. . . The lowering of corporate taxes and giving money back to the middle class, everything looks good in theory, but I want to see it work. I’m hoping that I will have more money to invest in my business and I’ll be better able to take care of my employees. I’m very optimistic. I see the stock market booming and I see a lot of people are feeling very good about themselves as a result of President Trump being at the helm.”

About special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible links to Russia, he said: “I think that is so political. One side says one thing, the other side says another thing. I would like for this to come to an end and stop wasting our money and all these lengthy investigations.”

On immigration: “It’s not fair for those who try to come here legally and the people who came here illegally now for them to willy-nilly stay here. But then again, the people who have been here and have not, besides their illegal entry, broken any laws, and have worked hard, there should be an avenue for them to eventually obtain their citizenship. But it shouldn’t be a freebie. I want to make sure there is some kind of fairness. . . . ”

Grade: “I give him an A. I think he’s doing a great job and I hope that within this coming year he’ll be able to sit down with both parties and accomplish the people’s work because there is a lot of work to be done.”

ROGER ELTRINGHAM, Garden City

Insurance broker

“He’s everything I wanted and less. When he sticks to his guns, then I’m kind of on board. Like most everybody I’m getting a little tired of his tweets; he can’t seem to contain himself and I wish he would. The media never ceases to astound and disappoint me. It’s disgusting. Do you see it on the right side? Yes, but not nearly as much as on the left side . . . When he comes out and does certain things I think he does a very good job of it. Tax reform is supposed to benefit a large majority of the people. My jury is out on that, too; we won’t know until we file our taxes in 2019 . . . A lot of people are afraid of what’s going on in Korea. Trump is not as crazy as he looks on Korea, and neither is the other guy. The point is Trump shakes it up because they don’t know what he’s going to do. It makes people sit and take pause . . . It looks like he’s starting to find his stride in terms of getting legislation done. I’d like to see in general the country get past all this Russia stuff. I’m just not buying it.

“I’m basically a center-right guy, I’m going to bend over backwards to give Trump the benefit, but I’m realistic enough to know he got some PR media deficiencies that need to be fixed. . . .”

Grade: “As far as PR, I’d give him a C and that’s probably generous. As far as hitting his stride and getting things done I’d give him a B. He has work to do for sure. And in foreign policy, I’ll give him a B plus. I like what he’s doing there.”

LOUISE BROOKS, Glen Cove

Real estate broker

“I like his immigration plan. I think we have to secure our borders and take care of ourselves first. I think some of it is too harsh and I’m going to guess that he’s negotiating to get his wall. I want to see DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) continued, but I’d like to see him get his wall.

“I think the tax plan will affect everyone but only time will tell us whether it gets more jobs and gets the economy rolling. The stock market is through the roof.”

Referring to the loss of state and local federal tax deductions above $10,000 in the tax plan, she said, “It’ll hurt the luxury market initially, but then it will even off. The luxury market is the market which all of us in the real estate business like to pander to, and it will soften a bit, but it’ll rebound because people want to buy beautiful houses if they have the money, and more people will have money. Don’t you love the businesses giving money back to people in bonuses?

“He’s so different than any president we’ve ever had. I don’t think other nations know what to do with him. It’ll take a long time to tell if the U.S. will be more respected. It’s more than a year answer.”

His tweets? “He needs to cut it out.”

“Sure, absolutely correct that I’m less enthusiastic, but I’m still hopeful that even though he talks too much, his substance at the end will be good.

Grade: “God, that’s hard. I don’t know. Sixty-five percent out of 100. I think he’s passing but not by a lot.” (Her last grade for him was a B.)

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