Michigan voters weigh in on President Trump's speech to Congress

Trump's Michigan support
Trump's Michigan support 01:55

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- President Trump won Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes in November -- the slimmest margin of victory in a presidential race in the state’s history.

So, how do voters in Michigan feel about him now? CBS News traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to give voters in the Wolverine state the last word on Mr. Trump’s address to Congress, his first since taking office.

Grand Rapids was the site of the final stop of Trump’s campaign, where he appeared just hours before polls opened on Election Day. He returned in December as part of his “thank you” tour after the election.

Among those gathered at the Hideout Brewery on Tuesday night to watch the president’s speech was Shirley Hampton. She needed no convincing, saying Mr. Trump came across as a leader in his address to the joint session of Congress.

“I see a man who stands behind his word,” Hampton said. “The most important thing that I love about him is that he keeps telling everybody we’ve got to band together.”

Upstairs, the reviews were more mixed. Damien Sanchez and Chris Peterson argued over Trump’s call for unity. 

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Chris Peterson from Grand Rapids, Michigan, discusses President Trump’s first address to Congress CBS News

“Who can argue with unity?” Sanchez asked. “But has he been a divisive president to this point? Of course he has.”

“I don’t think unity should be an objective,” Peterson said. “I think where we disagree with him, we ought to be very strong in that resistance.”

At breakfast on Wednesday, we found an answer to the Democrats’ questions about what type of people could support Mr. Trump. They’re people like Leon Alderman.

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Leon Alderman eats breakfast the day after Mr. Trump’s address to Congress CBS News

“I didn’t like the way things were going in this country, so I voted for Donald Trump,” Alderman told us. “Everything Trump has said and everything he’s done so far I like. The media doesn’t like him. Hollywood doesn’t like him. I mean, what more could you ask for?”

Andrew Dine praised the speech -- with a backhanded compliment.

“I think that it was a breath of fresh air... compared to how Donald Trump usually is, in the last month or so,” Dine said. “I think he was much more professional and grounded.”

Asked if he thought Mr. Trump was presidential, Dine said, “Absolutely.”

That would be a step in the right direction -- for any new president.

  • Dean Reynolds
    Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.