Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET on November 10, 2020
GILBERT, Ariz.—Just before the polls closed in Arizona on Election Night, a group of Donald Trump supporters staged a noisy rally along one of the Phoenix area’s main thoroughfares. The group was small but mighty: It blasted music and waved signs and urged passing cars to honk if they love the president—there was a lot of honking. But a mile away, Jane Andersen’s neighborhood was an oasis. All was calm on her narrow street at the edge of the desert. The heat had finally broken, and the starless black sky stretched overhead like velvet. Down the block, at the nearby high school, a marching band had begun an evening rehearsal of “Don’t Stop Believin’.” And behind Andersen’s sprawling beige house, a dozen women sat in a circle, engaging in what amounted to a therapy session.
Andersen, a 44-year-old online-university professor, had invited the women, all disillusioned Maricopa County Republicans, to watch the election returns together in her impossibly green backyard. She’d measured six feet between each patio chair and set up two TV screens in front of them, between the in-ground trampoline and the pool. The results were coming in slowly, and they were sort of confusing, so instead of watching, the women talked. They shared why they’d decided to vote for Trump or Evan McMullin or no one at all in 2016. They spoke about their faith—10 of them belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and how shocked they were to discover that so many Church members voted for Donald Trump the first time around. But mostly, they talked about how frustrated and lost they felt—and have felt for an entire presidential term.