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NO USE ABC AMERICA, FOX, CNN, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO, BBC AMERICA, NBC, OR THEIR DIGITAL/MOBILE PLATFORMS.**~ Two and a half years after the surprise election of Donald Trump, who realigned the American electoral map in 2016 , the president is hoping he can hang on to the battleground states he narrowly turned red.
From now until the election, Reuters will be visiting four key states that could determine who wins the White House in 2020- Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona... where - in 2016 - voters switched political parties... said they voted to shake things up... opted to skip the presidential race... or realized the importance of engaging upon reaching voting age.
In sunny Pinellas County, Florida -- where Trump's margin of victory in 2016 was a little more than one percent -- retiree John Lenges says he was a life-long Democrat before he voted for Trump.
SOUNDBITE JOHN LENGES, VOTER SAYING: "I voted for Obama because he was a Democrat.
I wasn't real heavy into politics.
Just raised that way and voted because that's what I was.
So it was a life turnaround for me.
It was a wake up call.
Other family members thought we were nuts." Lenges made handmade signs for the Trump campaign during the 2016 primaries... SOUNDBITE JOHN LENGES, VOTER SAYING: "I thought, well, if nothing else I can be out on a corner and wave signs." He says he'll continue to support Trump because he worries about his granddaughter, as he hears daily reports of violence on the news.
SOUNDBITE JOHN LENGES, VOTER SAYING: "I'll be right out there working again.
I mean, he's got my vote and any more that I can get him." ---------------------------------------- On the other side of the country in Maricopa County, Arizona...19-year-old Alexis Rodriguez worries about his mother - a Mexican immigrant who works two custodial shifts a day.
SOUNDBITE ALEXIS RODRIGUEZ, VOTER SAYING: "Just knowing that my community, my people might be under attack one day - any day it can happen - it's really nerve-wracking." His mother is unable to vote in the country she's called home for decades, but her son - the first in the family to go to college - is now old enough to vote in his first presidential election.
SOUNDBITE ALEXIS RODRIGUEZ, VOTER SAYING:: "My mom, you know, she being a Latina, it's scary when she yells at you to go vote." Rodriguez registered to vote as a Democrat because of the party's positions on LGBT rights and immigration, and cast his first ballot in the 2018 midterm elections, helping elect Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona's first Democratic U.S. senator in 3 decades.
SOUNDBITE ALEXIS RODRIGUEZ, VOTER SAYING: "Change is what is needed, especially in such a diverse country.
We need everyone's opinions.
We wanna make sure this country is for us and that our voice is heard." ---------------------------------------- In Northampton County, Pennsylvania, where Trump received strong support from white, working-class voters in 2016, Republican Kurt Zuhlke said he voted for Obama twice but felt he did not follow through on the promises he made.
SOUNDBITE KURT ZUHLKE, VOTER SAYING: "I gave him the benefit of the doubt the first time, and the second time I gave him a second chance.
But then I realized in the second change that nothing had changed.
I was watching the money being moved out of this country and into different parts of the world.
It didn't stay in the U.S. to grow businesses." Zuhlke - a businessman - said he voted for Trump because of his pledge to create jobs and shake up the ways of Washington.
SOUNDBITE KURT ZUHLKE, VOTER SAYING: "I wanted change.
I wanted dramatic change.
I wanted to throw the wrench into the gears." The 63-year-old says he's happy with Trump's economic policies, so far, but says he continues to keep an open mind about presidential politics.
SOUNDBITE KURT ZUHLKE, VOTER SAYING "I can go either way.
And in Pennsylvania, I think that also is possible.
This state could go either way.
But, you know, first thing everybody should do is remember your pocket book.
And if you're doing really well, don't mess it up." --------------------------------------- In Racine County, Wisconsin, Stacy Baugh says the economy's not working her.
SOUNDBITE STACY BAUGH, VOTER SAYING: "Finding a job in Racine has probably been the most difficult." Baugh is raising four kids and has been making makes $13 an hour on a factory line.
She completed job training aimed at helping residents land employment at the Foxconn technology plant under construction nearby - where Trump pledged to rebuild American manufacturing.
But Baugh says that hasn't materialized.
SOUNDBITE STACY BAUGH, VOTER SAYING: "I was told that those jobs are given to people in Racine but then we don't receive them.
They're probably gonna give them to some of their people somewhere else.
If you come to our city, I think it's only fair that we get first dibs at those jobs.
And not only first dibs but paid a livable wage." In 2016, Baugh didn't trust Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to deliver on her wishes.
She was part of an unexpected drop-off in Democratic votes in her county, where fellow local and political activist Corey Prince called voter turnout "dismal." SOUNDBITE COREY PRINCE, POLITICAL ACTIVIST SAYING: "A lot of it was a feeling of being ignored.
A lot of it was a feeling that their vote didn't matter.
A lot of it was a feeling of hopelessness and didn't feel that voting for the president would change that." These are the voters and counties that the more than 20 Democratic candidates vying to challenge Trump in 2020 will need to make their cases in.
They make their first primetime pitch on June 26th and 27th in Miami, Florida.