Pennsylvania coal miners all in for Trump

Pennsylvania voters

For coal miners in Western Pennsylvania, the commute to work takes them two miles into the earth and 300 feet beneath it.

As dark and dusty as they find it making a buck, miners like Joe Somogyi, Todd Reesman, and Dave Schrecengost have crystal clarity when it comes to this election.

Dave Schrecengost at work in a Pennsylvania coal mine CBS News

They will all vote for Donald Trump.

“I feel [Hillary Clinton’s] a cookie cutter of the Obama administration. And it’s not working for middle class, working Americans,” Reesman said.

Hillary Clinton's coal industry comment backfires on her

In the mines, Hillary Clinton never had a chance. At a CNN town hall, she said, “Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right? And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people.”

After Reesman heard the first part, the second didn’t matter. At age 46, he is casting his first vote ever for president.

“It’s important to me and my family. I have a son that works in the mines,” Reesman said.

“I think we’re on the brink. The working man, the working class man is gonna be an extinction.”

But look elsewhere in this part of the country and Trump’s support is not always rock solid.

Cameron Linton, 23, was a delegate to the GOP convention. But he is not happy with his party’s nominee. “He’s not… he just doesn’t have it,” Linton said. “He’s had a year to act like a professional, classy nominee, and he hasn’t done that.”

Tim Nerozzi CBS News

Tim Nerozzi, president of the Young Republicans at the University of Pittsburgh, said it is one of the most difficult decisions he has ever had to make.

“It’s disheartening. But I do hope our party will bounce back, Nerozzi said.

“Hopefully, this will be the medicine that we need as a nation to kind of cleanse the palate and start over again, and say, ‘That didn’t work. What can we do better?’”

Back in coal country, none of the miners are holding their nose and voting for Trump. They are proud to pull the lever for him.

The three miners said they could sum up their support for Trump with one word: “Change.”

  • Jim Axelrod
    Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the chief investigative correspondent and senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.