Confident, condescending, and conceited are just a few words being tossed around following Donald Trump's appearance on CNN over the weekend. That's when Trump called himself the "most popular person that's ever lived" when it comes to upstate.
Some voters say not so fast. “He invents his popularity because he's a megalomaniac,” said Kevin Gibbons of Buffalo. “He believes in his own mind that everybody loves him because most the people around him are paid a lot of money to tell him they do and I don't think it's true at all.” “He's in it for himself, strictly for himself,” added Richard George.
Not so said Trump supporter, Michael Caputo. Caputo isn't surprised by Trump's comments. He knows winning New York is a long shot, but he thinks it's possible. “The more people see him as someone they might see in the White House the more likely they are to be less opposed to his candidacy.”
Buffalo skeptics aren't so sure. After all, many recall the Trump who toyed with the idea of running for governor. “I want to see a unified party. If we have a unified party, I'll do it,” Trump said during an appearance in Buffalo in 2014. Caputo said he can explain. “It was always maybe. All throughout the whole thing he talked about wanting to run for President. Every single day. So, to blame him for not running for governor, is really just to blame me and couple of other guys for not being able to convince him.”
What about the time Trump expressed interest in buying the buffalo bills? That's something that could hurt his standings with the upstate delegate. Caputo said Trump didn't think they were worth more than $800 million. Caputo also said it was right for Buffalo since the Pegula’s are so highly regarded in the area.
Moving forward Caputo hopes voters can put those issues behind them. He said it's possible to sway the undecided. “If we keep dropping his negatives, keep being presidential, keep being positive, so that he can possibly win the state in a general election,” Caputo said.
The last time that happened was in 1984 when Ronald Reagan took New York. If the latest poll is any indication, the streak isn't likely to be broken this year. According to a Siena poll, Trump's favorability only sits at 28% among upstate Republicans.
The New York Primary is April 19.