Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support local and independent journalism by making a gift to NHPR today.

What Are Nevada Voters Anxious About? 'Trump,' Radio Listeners Say


Americans are helping us to answer a question this morning - why so many are anxious or angry. Earlier this week, we heard some reasons from NPR's Mara Liasson - economic change, terrorism, the demographic shifts of this country. Next, some NPR member stations posed this question to their listeners, and that includes KNPR in Las Vegas, one of dozens hearing from residents on a call-in show, as well as on the street. Carrie Kaufman is host of the show called State Of Nevada. Welcome to the program.

CARRIE KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Thank you for having me.

INSKEEP: What did you hear when you opened up this question to your listeners?

KAUFMAN: The No. 1 thing we heard was Trump. Everybody that we talked to was anxious about Trump. And equal to that, people were anxious about the media as it pertained to Trump. People thought that he was getting too much media, and they couldn't listen to media or watch media anymore because it was scaring them too much.

INSKEEP: Now, this is really interesting. Mara Liasson identified Donald Trump as the guy who's called himself the angry candidate, who's embraced that mantle, as Trump put it. You're saying that people who oppose Trump are angry or anxious about Trump.

KAUFMAN: When we got down to it, when we actually started talking to people, we found that they were anxious about other things that Trump was exploiting. They were anxious about this sort of being disconnected from each other.

INSKEEP: So you were also talking to people outside of a grocery store in your listening area. And let's listen to a couple of the comments you heard; first, from a man named Nicholas (ph).

NICHOLAS: There is a big age discrimination going on when it comes to job in this country that nobody talks about. I have three engineering degree, 22 years of experience, and I'm working minimum wage as a security guard.

INSKEEP: There is something we could talk about for quite some time - people in their 50s, people in their 60s, who feel like they've run out of options.

KAUFMAN: And who feel like they were working and they were working full-time and then the economic crisis happened. And they were the victims of that, but they haven't been able to get back up whereas the rest - we always talk about the rest of the economy recovering.

INSKEEP: Did you get a sense that people were eager or even relieved to get a chance to say what was on their minds?

KAUFMAN: Yes. I would say that about 1 in 3 people stopped to talk to me. There were people who came - who went in and then came back out and said, hey, I want to talk to you. They wanted to talk about their lives, what was happening to them. They're scared.

INSKEEP: Let's hear one of the voices you're describing here. This is a man who identified himself as Frank.

FRANK: The crime in Las Vegas is probably one of my biggest worries. It seems like every day someone gets killed in this town. You know, you flash through your Facebook and it's always something bad. I had a handgun for 30 years. I've never used it, but I went out and bought a shotgun because I feel if someone comes in I don't want to miss.

KAUFMAN: And Frank specifically said he's reminded of the crime every night. Even though it's relatively low that what he's tuned into is telling him that it's actually high. And that is what is scaring him.

INSKEEP: Carrie Kaufman, thanks very much.

KAUFMAN: Thank you for having me, Steve.

INSKEEP: She's host of "State Of Nevada" on KNPR in Las Vegas, one of dozens of stations across the country sampling American opinion this week. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.