“Frankly, it was insulting,” said Frances Keating, 74, a retired accountant who has lived in Scranton most of her life. “He’s using Scranton as a prop.”
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Still, she said she planned to vote for Mr. Biden because “Trump is a monster.”
Scranton has become a symbol for Democrats’ lost dreams in 2016, when working-class voters abandoned the party in droves. The city itself is blue. But the surrounding county, Lackawanna, and a neighboring one, Luzerne, had the second- and third-largest swings toward Mr. Trump of any county with more than 100,000 voters in the United States. The surge was enough to cover his 44,000-vote victory in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Trump is trailing in the state by seven percentage points, but the enthusiasm he enjoys among many ancestral Democrats in Scranton highlights the challenges Mr. Biden still faces in a state regarded by both parties as a must-win next month.
Kim Anzelmi, a former meat inspector, was watching television after dinner in a suburb of Scranton last month when Mr. Biden flashed on the screen.
“Mr. President, do your job,” Mr. Biden said.
Ms. Anzelmi scoffed. She said that she was tired of hearing from progressives that she had privilege because she was white and that she feared a Biden presidency would only give them more power.
“I put myself through college,” said Ms. Anzelmi, who is 55 and whose vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 was the first she had ever cast for president. “I was a security guard at Sears. I worked in meat plants where I was the only woman. Now you tell me I’m entitled?”
That Mr. Biden is from this area did not matter. Ms. Anzelmi plans to vote for Mr. Trump again. But in a sign of how complicated politics have become within families, her husband — an immigrant from Uruguay who got his citizenship in 2009 but has never voted — likes Mr. Biden and said he thought he might vote for him.