Hampton Beach
Hampton Beach

By Max Sullivan

HAMPTON — The women gathered on M Street with Make America Great Again hats, Donald Trump shirts and confidence in their push to reelect the 45th president.

“This man is making such historic change in this nation that it happens on a minute by minute basis,” said 2020 Congressional candidate Lynne Blankenbeker to a group of 80 women inside the small Hampton Beach cottage. She wore a “Women for Trump” T-shirt as she and others praised him for things like helping unemployment for women stay below 4% and seeing the number of women in poverty drop by 600,000.

The night was organized by Hampton Selectman Regina Barnes and Denise Katz, alongside Women for Trump and the Republican National Committee, hosted in two M Street homes provided for the gathering by property owner Nick Riccio. Guests were served a buffet catered by Catalano’s Market and had cake iced with the words “Trump 2020.” It drew women from as far as Boston who came to talk about a president they say deserves more credit than he gets.

“He does what is good for the American people,” said Barnes, a supporter for Trump since he first ran. “What has the guy got for himself since he’s been president? Ridiculed. That’s all he gets.”

Trump has struggled with women in polls, a recent CNN poll showed women were also more likely to support impeachment and removal than men. Nina McLaughlin, GOP communications director in New Hampshire and Maine, said similar “MAGA meet-ups” for women are being held around the region to boost support among female voters.

“This is a chance for us to continue empowering women across the Granite State through discussion and trainings and gatherings in general, and letting them see that there’s other supporters for the president,” said McLaughlin.

The night also featured Salem state Rep. Fred Doucette, who co-chaired the Trump’s 2016 campaign in New Hampshire. Media were permitted for a portion of the night until the group began discussing campaign strategy.

One attendee, Boris Lvin, from Stratham, said he came to hear and learn about the women that were voting for Trump. He said he questioned whether Trump himself deserved credit for achievements women discussed Wednesday night.

He was also curious to know why women could support Trump.

“He is famous as a womanizer,” said Lvin. “I’m kind of surprised that the females specifically support him.”

“I just think I can forgive people,” said Tracy Kelly, a supporter from Hampton who grew up liking Trump as a celebrity in the 1980s. She said she believes in Trump’s message and she opposes impeachment, saying the positive parts of Trump’s presidency have been overshadowed by biased national media.

“The whole impeachment thing, it really makes you kind of sad that this is going on in the country,” said Kelly.

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