NBC reporter checks out election thoughts at Franklin festival

Talking about politics during dinner isn’t usually recommended, but an NBC correspondent engaged local residents in political discourse over the weekend at the Franklin Blues and Barbecue Festival.

Savannah Sellers was at the festival as part of a tour around Pennsylvania to get a sense of where residents in this swing state stand as the 2020 presidential election season approaches.

“We want to meet people where they’re going to be anyway,” Sellers said Monday after her remote broadcast aired on MSNBC from Benjamin’s Roadhouse.

Sellers found nuanced opinions among those she talked to over the weekend.

“To be honest, we found people were very split,” Sellers said. “One guy told us he was happy with Trump, but he wasn’t happy with Trump’s Twitter account.”

Pennsylvania is of interest, Sellers said, because Barack Obama carried the state in 2012 before Trump’s key victory in Pennsylvania in 2016.

Venango County has voted Republican in the presidential election for more than 50 years. Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to carry the county in 1964.

Sellers said Joe Biden seemed to be the most popular candidate among those she talked to who are leaning toward the Democrats.

“A lot of people said Biden could take Trump on,” she said.

Other names frequently mentioned were Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg, Sellers said.

Sellers, a San Diego native who now lives in New York City, was impressed with the festival, which MSNBC daytime programs producer Stefanie Cargill said she found through Google.

“I couldn’t stop eating,” Sellers said “You guys really nailed in on the barbecue, and the music was amazing.”