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Hillary Clinton supporters in St. Petersburg optimistic that if elected, she’ll be able to work with Republicans

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The polls are looking good for Hillary Clinton today, exactly three months before the general election.

A Monmouth University national poll released Monday night shows that 46 percent of registered voters support Clinton, while 34 percent back Donald Trump. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson gets 7 percent and 2 percent back Jill Stein of the Green Party.

At the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Monday afternoon, several Clinton supporters said that Trump’s verbal excesses would continue to drag him down before November

“He’s got no Latino votes, no black votes, not even all of the Republicans, so I don’t see how theoretically he does it,” said St. Petersburg resident Doug Chenneville. “I have family members not too far away who are voting for Trump. But I’m honestly shocked that he’s getting the numbers that he is because I think he’s a complete disgrace to this county. I really do, he’s putting his own self-interest before everyone else in this country. Which begs the question, does he really not want to be the president?

But if Clinton is elected, and the Congress remains in Republican hands, will things really change much?

Some observers say they believe that relations will be better between Clinton and the GOP-led House and Senate than it has been under Barack Obama.

“I believe they will work with her, because she has a track record,” said Chenneville.

“Probably so, because she’s not black,” said a blunt Jim Donelon. “I think the Democrats are going to take the Senate and pick up some seats in the House that might wake up those idiot Republicans who say, ‘no compromise, no nothing,’ so I’m hoping.”

“I firmly believe the hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world, and people are not paying attention to the fact that she has a track record of working under the radar, and very quietly when she was in the U.S. Senate,” says Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long, a Democrat (seen with her granddaughter Athena). “She was not a braggart. She was not out there trying to make everything about her. She has a very solid reputation of being a very hard worker and getting things done.”

Steve Zebos is currently a scout for the Chicago White Sox, a former major league baseball player who pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and also taught U.S. history at Maine Township High School in Park Ridge, Illinois for 25 years. One of his students back in the 1960’s was one Hillary Rodham.

“Her favorite teacher was Paul Carlson, who was a great Republican. His classroom looked like a miniature Republican convention center,” Zebos said as the crowd began filing into the Coliseum on Monday afternoon. “In her book she has a picture of Paul, and says ‘this is my first history teacher.’ He really got her involved in politics.”

Zebos said he attended a class reunion for Maine Township back in Washington D.C. in 1995.

“I feel like Hillary has a very good foundation of judgement. She was a straight A student,” he said. “She’s very smart. I think she’ll do a very good job” as president, he added.

Clearwater resident Nicole Terry said she remains concerned about a Trump presidency, saying “it could be bad for the world as a hole.”

But she cautioned supporters from being too cocky. “Everybody, regardless, has got to get out and do to do what they need to do. You can never take anything for granted.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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