Bay Area Republicans deciding whether to back Trump
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Bay Area Republicans gathered together at a San Francisco watch party Thursday night to listen to Donald Trump's formal speech at the Republican National Convention.
Cheers erupted for Trump showed a unification of many San Francisco Republicans around a candidate who was not the first choice of many in the room. Some said now that Trump is officially the Republican candidate they find him a more palatable pick than Hillary Clinton.
"I think perhaps bringing that kind of outsider blood to Washington, apart from lifelong politicians, could be what our country needs to break free from small growth and move toward high growth," said Noah Lewis of San Francisco.
The San Francisco crowd cheered most when Trump talked about defeating Clinton, defeating ISIS, and eliminating sanctuary cities with a reference to Kate Steinle who was killed in San Francisco by a man who was in the country illegally. Trump also got applause when he spoke in support of LGBTQ issues, in direct contradiction to the Republican Party's official platform.
Still some people said they are cautious and concerned about whether Trump can put aside his past rhetoric and prove he can be presidential.
"I want to see if he'll start talking with more respect and becoming more presidential versus the lashing out people and the juvenile, immature behavior that he's exhibited," said.Michael Nohr of San Francisco.
"I'm also a startup founder and whatever he is all about is going to have a direct impact on my business," said Tash Jeffries, a San Francisco businesswoman from Canada.
Others say Trump's speech showed them that he is capable of leading Republicans to win the White House.
"I think he did a great job, I think he's unifying the party. I think he's standing for what Republicans truly believe," said San Francisco Republican Veronica Sullivan, who originally backed Jeb Bush, "I'm converted."
"I was actually a Kasich supporter at first and switched over because we have to band together to beat Hillary. It's very important now or never," said Thomas Walsh of Daly City.
A few Democrats and undecided voters were in the crowd and said they came to watch and listen. For some, though, who don't care for either Trump or Clinton, it could take more than just a single speech to help them decide who to back come November.