One Square Mile Johnston Forum: When A Blue Town Turns Red

Mar 6, 2017

(From left to right) RIPR political reporter Ian Donnis, Johnston Democratic Town Committee chair Richard Delfino Jr., and Johnston Republican Town Committee chair Robert Matteo
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The town of Johnston has been a Democratic stronghold for years, but in 2016 Johnston voters gave Republican Donald Trump a decisive 14 point victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. That was the sharpest swing in partisan support since 2012 for any Rhode Island community.

Listen as Rhode Island Public Radio political reporter Ian Donnis discusses the swing with Richard Delfino Jr, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee of Johnston, and Robert Matteo, chairman of the Republican Town Committee of Johnston.

Together they try to answer the question: just why did this suburb of 30,000 people turn red, and what does it mean for Rhode Island?

This forum was taped live at Johnston Municipal courthouse on Wednesday, March 1st. The forum is split up below into three 20 minute segments.