It is not an unusual sentiment in this blue-collar corner of Pennsylvania: “I voted Trump last time, and I’ll vote Trump next time because there’s a lot of loonies out there.”
What is unusual is that Gary Reese, 75, served as the Democratic mayor of Kingston, a town in Luzerne County at the heart of what used to be the state’s coal belt, in the 1990s. “The Democrats used to be about the working man,” he continued. “Now, they sound like communists.”
Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s vice-president, has emerged as an early frontrunner among Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination with a dominant lead among voters in Iowa, who will be the first to state their preference next year.
A new CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll finds 32 per cent of likely caucusgoers saying they back Mr Biden as their first choice, ahead of 19 per cent for Bernie Sanders and 11 per cent for Beto O'Rourke, the telegenic campaigner who came close to an against-the-odds win in Texas last month.