WHITEFISH BAY - President Donald Trump celebrated his 100th day in office on Saturday, April 29 — a benchmark used to evaluate the president's first actions in office.
In the North Shore, the majority of voters in each of the seven communities tended to favor Trump's former rival, Hillary Clinton. Clinton voters are not likely to have changed their minds about Trump in the last 100 days, so we decided to see how Trump supporters feel about their candidate's past 100 days in office.
Trump was the most popular in River Hills, where he received 44 percent of the vote. Trump was the least popular in Shorewood, where he only received 17 percent of the vote. Trump also lost in Bayside (31 percent); Brown Deer (30 percent); Fox Point (32 percent); Whitefish Bay (30 percent); and Glendale (29 percent).
In total, 11,226 out of 40,000 North Shore voters in the November election cast their ballots for Trump. Finding those 11,000 voters and getting them to tie their names to their political opinions was a tall order in this polarized political environment, but we did find a group of men who meet at Bruegger's Bagels in Whitefish Bay to discuss the state of the world.
One of the men at the table was Frank Johnson, a Trump supporter from Whitefish Bay. Johnson said his family supported former President John F. Kennedy when he was growing up, but he has shifted toward the Republican Party in recent years.
Trump may have been his 16th choice out of the 17 Republican candidates running in the 2016 primary election, but he said he finds Trump to a be a "breath of fresh air" when compared to all of the establishment politicians who have ran for office in the last several decades. He said it will take more than 100 days to create change in Washington, D.C.
"I think he's got quite a mess to try to clean up," Johnson said. "He inherited one unbelievable mess, whether it's eight years of no economic growth or the foreign policy situation, where again, nothing was done in eight years that was positive for this country."
Johnson's opinion of Trump's first 100 days reflects the attitudes of other Trump voters around the nation. A Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 96 percent of Trump voters said they made the right decision, and only 2 percent of those voters regret their decision. Trump's overall approval rating is 42 percent — the lowest approval rating at 100 days of any president in polls since 1945.
Another Trump supporter at Bruegger's was Whitefish Bay resident Walt Dyer. He said he has been pleased to see Trump nominate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 7. Dyer's only misgiving about the past 100 days is that Trump and his Republican colleagues were not able to pass health care reform.
Dyer said he thinks the 2,000-mile wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is needed, but "the question is if we have enough money to pay for it." An internal report by the U.S. Department on Homeland Security estimates the wall would cost $21.6 billion, but a report issued by Senate Democrats estimates that price tag would be closer to $70 billion.
All of the men in the breakfast group praised Trump for reversing the executive orders Obama approved while in office. They also approved of the executive orders Trump has signed since assuming office.
Another Trump supporter at the table, Jim Mead, said he is mostly satisfied with Trump's progress, but he hopes Trump doesn't back off his promise to build a border wall. He said he thinks Trump will be effective because he is a businessman — not a career politician.
"Neither party, in my opinion, has done squat for the average guy," he said. "This guy's making a lot of noise. I like it. I like someone that opens their mouth. I don't like politically correct. That's what both parties are. They're afraid to offend someone. He's not. He tells it the way it is. If he gets it done, fine. If he doesn't, he's no worse for the wear."