It has the highest concentration of military veterans of any metropolitan area without a military base. It has strict regulations enforcing the uniformity of homes no second stories, no bright colors, no modern flourishes as well as the people living in them no families with children, except to visit.
And it is Trump country, a reliably Republican, vocally patriotic, almost entirely white enclave that gave the president nearly 70 percent of the vote. Because while the Villages may look like the past, with its retro architecture and gray-haired demographics, it sells like the future.
This master-planned paradise an hour northwest of Disney World has been the fastest-growing metro area in the United States in four of the past five years. Trump College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus who get the most media attention tend to be economically anxious laborers in economically depressed factory towns.
Trump remains unpopular with younger voters, and Democrats have already flipped four Florida legislative seats in low-profile special elections this year, but the older voters who are most likely to vote in the midterms are increasingly likely to move to Florida and support the president. It feels like a square-mile cruise ship, or a college campus without required classes. It has enough golf courses to play a different one every week of the year, and more than miles of golf cart trails that keep traffic congestion to a minimum.
It has 3, clubs that keepVillagers busy doing everything from belly dancing to astrology, water aerobics to water skiing, karaoke to quilting. That meant more wealth on paper for club members like year-old Larry Harman, a Chicago-area stockbroker who watches the markets so closely he founded a separate club devoted to options trading.
But while Harman voted for Trump, and says he gladly would again, his investment gains are not the reason: Come on, Trump has nothing to do with your portfolio.
Throw your hand over your heart and respect our flag. That has helped blunt the perennial Democratic pitch to seniors: Choose us, because Republicans are coming for your checks.
But what really attracted them to Trump were issues that had little to do with their pocketbooks or their daily lives—like his opposition to sanctuary cities, or his College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus rhetoric about strength, or his attacks on Muslims, MS and protests by black athletes.
They feel like Trump is on their side in a cultural war against cop-haters, their perception of scheming foreigners, global warming alarmists, and other politically correct avatars of disorder and decline; they thought President Barack Obama was on College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus other side, standing with transgender activists, welfare freeloaders and Islamic terrorists. And when Trump vows to make America great again, they sense that he means more like The Villages.
Thirty-five years ago, The Villages was just a few hundred mobile homes known as Orange Blossom Gardens. And the development firm that owns and controls The Villages—as well as its newspaper and radio station—has been a staunch supporter of Republican candidates.
But Trump carried those counties by a much more resoundingvotes four years later, not because he was so much more popular here, but because so many more Republicans had moved here.
And it explains why Republicans here remain confident aboutdespite all the angry energy Trump has unleashed among the Democratic base. Of course, not all white retirees are Trump supporters. The Villages is that base, with 56 percent registered Republicans versus 22 percent Democrats. And most of them like what they hear. But Guy Knaak, a year-old officer at the post, glanced at the screen and snorted: The mutual incomprehension reminds Knaak of his recent chat with his wife of 42 years about the most viral audio clip on the internet.
How could you possibly hear that? Chet Sturgess, a year-old Navy veteran who served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War, disagrees with Trump about trade and immigration; he spent time in Juarez as a manager for Ford, and he believes a border wall would hurt America as well as Mexico. The Villages represents the traditionalist side of a cultural and political war that began in the '60s and never really ended, an us-against-them battle over values between conservative Red America and progressive Blue America.
At the Legion post, it almost goes without saying that Hillary belongs in jail, the Russia investigation is a witch hunt, the Democratic Party is a treasonous band of communist hippies, and the president is bringing back the good old days. Kneisley and her boyfriend, year-old former Marine College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus Campbell, believe Obama dragged America into a virtual state of anarchy.
Even though crime rates have been dropping for decades, they carry. Campbell meant older people, conservative people, military people. But 98 percent of Villagers happen "College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus" be white people, and their attitudes toward other people, including immigrants and minorities who work here as landscapers and roofers and waiters, sometimes go beyond politically incorrect.
When I asked a year-old former factory supervisor named Sam Huff why he liked Trump, he replied: But Guy Knaak says that as "College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus" rose to prominence, he started hearing openly racist diatribes about Obama: After four decades at Caterpillar, starting out cleaning casting machines and working his way up to middle management, Miller moved to The Villages to play golf and enjoy his golden years.
After a rough experience trying to retrieve a lost dog, he and his wife founded Lost Pets of The Villages to try to College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus down pets before local shelters could euthanize them.
He then became commander of an all-volunteer
College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus Emergency Response Team that helps stabilize ailing Villagers before ambulances can arrive. In fact, this year, Miller decided to run for state representative. Even here, Democrats seem energized about the midterm elections; visits by gubernatorial candidates College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus Graham and Andrew Gillum both attracted enthusiastic crowds of some Villagers.
This is not a new phenomenon. And in The Villages, yard signs and door-knocking campaigns are forbidden. The company does set a conservative tone. These actions cannot and will not be tolerated! The local march had to be moved to the weekend. Larry Berman, a year-old former corporate controller from the Chicago area, has a mustache and an accent reminiscent of Mike Ditka. At first blush, he seems more like one of the guys from the American Legion than a member of the Resistance.
Throughout Florida history, Democrats from the Northeast have headed down I to the southeast coast, while Republicans from the Midwest have headed down I to the southwest coast; The Villages happens to sit just off I, a natural oasis in GOP migration patterns. It started out as an inland upper-middle-class alternative to fancier coastal retreats like Naples and Bonita Springs, and it shares their Midwestern pedigree.
Actually, some things are changing, and not in the ways Stanley might want. InDemocrats out-registered Republicans in Florida, though not by enough to stop Trump.
InRepublicans out-registered Democrats, thanks to the continuing surge of baby boomers retiring to Florida boomtowns. Democrats are hopeful that Trump will be toxic inbut in the last midterm elections, turnout was 50 percent higher in The Villages than it was in the rest of "College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus" state. Former Congresswoman Graham, the daughter of the popular former centrist Democratic governor and U. Senator Bob Graham, and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who has described himself as a purple candidate for a purple state, have both touted their ability to attract Republican crossover voters, but in communities like The Villages, seniors are increasingly voting their party lines.
And while Republicans are worried about holding House seats in several Democratic-leaning districts—particularly the Miami-area districts held by moderates Rep. Carlos Curbelo and the retiring Rep.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen—heavy turnout among older voters could help save vulnerable Republican incumbents like Rep. Brian Mast around College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus Beach and Rep. Vern Buchanan in Sarasota.
But while they expect older voters to turn out as usual, they see signs that younger Democrats upset about Trump and the Republican Party might be more reliable voters in Polls suggest that majorities of Florida voters support action to fight climate change, oppose Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, and generally support moderation in government policies.
The Democratic strategy in seems likely to revolve around portraying Trump and his Republican allies as extremists who deny climate science, help Wall Street banks and other corporations rip off their customers, and slashed taxes for the richest Americans while trying to take away College hookup gay republicans suck t-shirts plus insurance from the working poor.
The Republican Party really has lurched to the right during the Trump era in ways that could give Democrats an opening to drive a more centrist message. And the Trumpier precincts of The Villages are a testament to that. The audience laughs derisively, and not a single hand is raised. The middle still matters in American politics, and if Trump keeps alienating independent voters, Democrats will keep winning elections in unlikely places.
But future results will depend a lot on whether white, exurban enclaves like The Villages keep growing faster than the multiracial, younger, urban enclaves of the left.
Yet his approval ratings have been remarkably steady, and loyal bubbles like The Villages help explain why. The only real question is whether there will be more of them than his enemies. Skip to Main Content. Continue to article content.
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