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All In The Family: Twin Sisters Land On Opposite Sides In Election

Andy Chow
(from left to right) Identical twin sisters Paula Riggs, a Trump supporter from Marion and Polly Pohlable, a Clinton supporter from Cincinnati

Election Day is just two weeks away, and the hyper-partisan atmosphere seems to keep growing and growing. But there's a pair of Ohio voters who know that blood is thicker than politics – and they were together at a Donald Trump rally.

For months, presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been trading jabs and insults.

“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in this country,” said Clinton during the second presidential debate.

Trump replied, “Cause you’d be in jail.”

During the third debate Clinton said, “Contribution will go up, as will Donald’s assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump interjected.

And there’s no shortage of that kind of hostility at their rallies, particularly one featuring Donald Trump.

A group of people at a Trump rally in Delaware County start chanting, “Bill’s a rapist!”

Paula Riggs, a Trump supporter from Marion, says she’s been aware of the bickering.

“I taught for 34 years and sometimes it looks like a middle school fight,” said Riggs.

But to Riggs, voting for Trump means voting for the conservative platform she supports. She has some harsh thoughts on Clinton too.

“I feel like she has lied so many times that she…if it was anyone else even if she wasn’t in prison she wouldn’t be running for office and how can we allow that to happen,” Riggs said.

That’s not an unusual sentiment to hear at a Trump rally. What is unique is that Riggs says all of this just feet away from Polly Pohlable of Cincinnati, who happens to be a Clinton supporter. Pohlable says Clinton will be more inclusive as president.

“I think we do have to work together. I think we have to, we’re a nation of immigrants. We have to work together. We have to talk to both sides. I don’t think you’re going to solve anything just by putting another person down,” said Pohlable.

Polly and Paula aren’t just friends who happen to find themselves on opposing ends of this election. They’re also identical twin sisters.

Paula, a reliably Republican voter, says she likes Trump’s stances against Planned Parenthood and gun control, she also supports his foreign policies. Polly, who regularly votes Democratic, sides with Clinton on issues like immigration, moderate gun control and LGBT rights.

As Paula explains, this is a political gap the sisters have dealt with for years.

“We’ve had fights over the guns. We’ve had fights over abortion issues. We’ve had fights over a lot of the things that he stands for…”

Polly jumps in, “Not fights just discussions.”

Paula continues, “Yeah and I feel like she tries to back things up with facts and I try to back things up with facts but it’s how you interpret the facts.”

An example of the latest disagreement between the sisters comes from Donald Trump’s theory that the election might be rigged. Polly thinks those claims can be dangerous, but Paula thinks there is cause for concern.

“Even if the election is not close and he would lose – you know he’s blamed everybody else all along, everything that’s happened, he never takes blame for anything,” said Polly.

“I think there’s proof the election’s rigged. Not that the election is rigged but there’s voter fraud,” Paula added.

Even though Paula and Polly have their disagreements, the sisters believe it’s important to have these kinds of relationships to better understand the world they’re living in and, as Polly adds, it gives them more perspective.

“You have to listen to both sides of the issue to know what your beliefs are. I’m not just going to be against somebody because they’re a Republican or because they’re a Democrat, you’ve got to hear the issues,” said Polly.

Even though this presidential race has seemed to cause more bitterness than usual among political rivals, Polly swears it hasn’t done anything to hurt their relationship as sisters.

But I did have one more question.

“What’s Thanksgiving dinner like?”

“We don’t discuss politics,” said Polly.

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