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O’Reilly supporters clear on election, not candidate

Dennis Miller, left, and Bill O’Reilly brought their political commentary and comedy act to Biloxi on Saturday night, addressing the 2016 presidential campaign before a sold-out crowd at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
Dennis Miller, left, and Bill O’Reilly brought their political commentary and comedy act to Biloxi on Saturday night, addressing the 2016 presidential campaign before a sold-out crowd at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Courtesy Bill O’Reilly

What’s one thing you won’t find outside an event featuring Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller? That’s easy: undecided voters.

The two conservative pundits hosted their “Who Wants to Be President” show Saturday at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. The show is billed as a political commentary and comedy act.

As the crowd began to arrive to the Coast Coliseum, some gave their thoughts on the upcoming election.

Support for Trump was a given, but the level of support differed from person to person.

“I’ll be honest. Trump wasn’t my first choice,” Kevin Felsher of Biloxi said. “He wasn’t even my second, third or fourth choice. But by definition, I’m a conservative so that’s who I’m voting for.”

After several alleged scandals have come to light regarding Trump’s view of women, several Republicans have said they refuse to support him any longer.

Mary McFarland came from Mobile to see the show. The 76-year-old has been a big O’Reilly fan for years. She got tickets to the show from her son. Much of her support of Trump is based on the economy, which she says President Barack Obama has handled poorly. She believes Hillary Clinton will continue Obama’s policies.

“I don’t see how anyone could say Obama has done a good job,” she said.

Trump’s business history will hold sway over economic negotiations that would benefit her family, she said.

“I’m tired of so many taxes. I don’t want any more.”

Glenn Burge of Biloxi said the country faces an existential crisis with a Clinton victory. He ticked off the issues: “The Supreme Court. The economy. The debt.”

“As a country,” he said, “I really feel like we’re losing our soul.”

Show attendees had varying thoughts on the possibility of election fraud. Trump famously said at the last debate he would accept the outcome of the election only if he won.

Some who called themselves “anti-establishment voters” suggested the whole political party process is rigged, so election fraud is not out of the question.

“I’ve seen those videos of people manipulating the election,” said one woman who asked to not be identified. “How can you trust the system when you’re against it?”

“Voter fraud happens all the time,” Burge said. “Fraud happened to Mitt Romney. It happened in Chicago and other places. It could happen again, sure.”

Others were less suspicious.

“I think that if the election is close enough, there could be issues of voter fraud,” Felsher said, before emphasizing: “But I really don’t think it’s going to be close, to be honest.”

Michael Savarese, who runs a furniture store in Long Beach, believes the election will be closer than most scientific polls predict.

“I think a lot of Democrats are going to stay home. They’re not going to come out like they did for Obama. I also believe there’s a lot more people who have been affected by the economy that will come out to vote in favor of Trump.”

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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