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Coverage of the 2016 presidential election from NPR News and related blogs, including candidate profiles, interviews and talking points.On-air specials will also be broadcast as Election Day approaches, including the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.WRVO also provides coverage of regional elections both on-air and online.

Syracuse-area Trump headquarters officially open

Ellen Abbott

The Republican Party has opened up a political headquarters for the Donald Trump presidential campaign in Syracuse. Elected officials, volunteers and Donald Trump fans crowded into an Erie Boulevard office space to get a pep talk from state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox as the area’s Trump headquarters officially opened on Friday.

"The momentum is on our side, the big mo. And by the way, what does that mean? Come November 8, we’re going to have a Republican President of the United States, Donald Trump,” Cox said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News
NYS Republican Chairman Ed Cox and Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey.

These die-hard Trump supporters were energized, picking up lawn signs, making plans to man the phones, and taking pictures next to a life size cardboard cut-out of the Republican presidential standard bearer. Rosalie Vasser of North Syracuse is volunteering for a political candidate for the first time in her life, saying she’s behind Trump 200 percent.

"I just think he’s passionate,” Vasser says. “He says so many things that I believe in.”

Despite the optimism, there was an undercurrent of concern about some of Trump’s more politically charged public comments. State Sen. John DeFrancisco brought it up, admitting that he and other politicians or wouldn’t have said some of the things Trump has said that have offended people.

“Hopefully he’ll choose his words more carefully. But change is the message. Change is the message. We can’t go on for four more years,” DeFrancisco said.

Cox says he expects dropping poll numbers to turn around before November, and calls the current spate of flaps over Trump’s comments ‘a summer storm.’ He says these politically incorrect words have nothing to do with the domestic or world issues that won him the nomination.

“The elites are against him, the elites in the media. A little mistake he makes, they blow it up,” Cox said. “But when it comes down to the working men and women of this country, they say we want Donald Trump because he speaks directly to them in language that is understood. They understand where he’s going.”

Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey urges supporters not to get discouraged at this point in the campaign for president.

“Right now there might be a little bit of a down cycle for our presidential candidate, but there’s over 90 days left. That’s a lifetime,” Dadey said. “And for those of you who remember 1980 when Ronald Reagan was our candidate for president, Ronald Reagan was not leading until mid-October. And we know what happened. He won in a landslide.”