In St. Petersburg, Fla., Trump's Character Is in Focus

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With millions of Floridians having already voted, the Election Day line quickly diminished outside the largest polling location in St. Petersburg, Fla. The city resides in Pinellas County, one of the bellwether counties in the country’s largest battleground state. President Trump narrowly won the county in 2016, after voters here twice went for Barack Obama.

The economy and coronavirus were key issues for voters on Tuesday.

“The coronavirus is spiraling out of control,” said Sydney Meloche, a 27-year-old medical assistant, who voted for Joe Biden. She said Mr. Trump had given a voice to racists and other divisive forces. “I’m really concerned if he wins another four years.”

David Rossignol, 34, also voted for Mr. Biden. “As a gay man, there’s a lot on the line,” he said, explaining he fears protections could be rolled back now that the Supreme Court has a solid conservative majority.

Will Anderson, 38, voted for Mr. Obama twice but backed Mr. Trump in 2016 and did again Tuesday morning in St. Petersburg. “Biden’s been around for so long,” he said.

He said he did not like Mr. Biden’s history of supporting tough criminal sentencing guidelines, and likes that Mr. Trump does not act like a typical politician.

“He still remains…a guy the party establishment isn’t comfortable with,” Mr. Anderson said.

“I felt sick voting for Donald Trump four years ago,” said Paul Anderson, 37, a physician. “I didn’t like his character.”

But Mr. Anderson voted for the president again in good part because of what he saw as a coordinated effort from opponents in various investigations of Mr. Trump and his administration, including the Russia probe. “He’s the only person who could withstand the media onslaught,” he said.

For Karina Brown, 57, the economy is paramount and she feels Mr. Trump is best suited to rebuild it after the virus fades.

“Biden is a lot more concerned about shutting the country down,” she said. “It should be up to everybody to mind themselves. If you are concerned, you should stay home.”

Ms. Brown suggested there was more support for the president in the city than seemed. “People are afraid to say they are for Trump. I can’t tell you how many people say they are for him but are afraid to say.”