Donald Trump Takes The Stump In Staten Island Donald Trump addressed a GOP brunch on Staten Island on Sunday, where most of New York City's working-class Republican voters live.
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Donald Trump Takes The Stump In Staten Island

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Donald Trump Takes The Stump In Staten Island

Donald Trump Takes The Stump In Staten Island

Donald Trump Takes The Stump In Staten Island

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Donald Trump addressed a GOP brunch on Staten Island on Sunday, where most of New York City's working-class Republican voters live.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Back to the U.S. now. New York holds it's presidential primary on Tuesday. In New York City, the politics are dominated by Democrats. There are more than six times as many Democrats registered to vote in the city than there are Republicans. Things are not so lopsided though in the borough of Staten Island. That's where many of New York City's working-class Republican voters live, and today they had a chance to see Donald Trump up close. NPR's Sarah McCammon was there.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: An anthem by a group of local fans played over the loudspeakers as Donald Trump took the stage at a hotel on Staten Island.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Economy's got you down. There's no money to be found.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: Oh, boy.

MCCAMMON: Trump addressed a friendly audience who'd gathered for a local GOP fundraising brunch.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: No place like Staten Island, let's face it.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: I've worked in Staten Island probably five summers. And my father always said, Staten Island, that's a great place.

MCCAMMON: In the audience were Carylyn and Frank Galeano.

FRANK GALEANO: We've never attended a political rally or brunch before. This is a first for us - right?

CARYLYN GALEANO: Yeah, absolutely.

MCCAMMON: Carylyn Galeano, who stays home with their two boys, says she likes how Trump speaks his mind.

C. GALEANO: Everyone I know loves him. And I'm - I have a million groups on Facebook - all New York or Staten Island. We love him.

MCCAMMON: Frank Galeano is a real estate broker. He says sales have been a bit sluggish, but he believes Trump can use his business background to help jumpstart the nation's economy. The Galeanos say despite Trump's wealth, he seems relatable.

F. GALEANO: I totally - his - he has a New York accent. So I'm comfortable with the way he talks and some attitudes that he has.

C. GALEANO: He's - I think I find him very down to earth, so I could totally relate with him.

F. GALEANO: You know, when he was a kid, he did - he swept hallways and collected quarters from laundry machines in his father's buildings in the outer boroughs so - I mean, a rich kid but a New York City kid nonetheless.

MCCAMMON: For Adelaide Laurie, a retiree from Staten Island, Trump is refreshing.

ADELAIDE LAURIE: You know what it is? I guess basically I'm sick and tired of the career politicians. I'm just tired of the politicians who get into office and do nothing for us.

MCCAMMON: Laurie says too many people are struggling.

LAURIE: Where is the chance to be a homeowner or, you know, the American Dream - where is that? It's gone.

MCCAMMON: In his speech, Trump reminded Staten Islanders that he's relying on their support on Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: Don't believe the polls. Go out and vote. Don't believe the polls.

MCCAMMON: Trump is way ahead in New York polls, and he's hoping for a sweep in his home state. His rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have been campaigning hard to pick off some of the state's 95 delegates. In Staten Island, Trump also looked ahead to a general election, promising these Republican voters that he could score them a rare win in this heavily blue state.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: If it weren't me - you would never see any candidate even come to New York and spend time in New York because there's zero chance that anybody can win New York for many, many years.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAMMON: In November, Trump could be up against a rival with New York ties - former Sen. Hillary Clinton. But before he can think too much about that potential matchup, he needs to get enough delegates in New York and beyond to become the Republican nominee. Sarah McCammon. NPR News, Staten Island, N.Y.

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