Trump and 2020 divide longtime friends in Iowa

By Musadiq Bidar

/ CBS News

Woman spends $500,000 on anti-Biden ads

Cedar Falls, Iowa — In a quiet neighborhood down the road from the University of Northern Iowa, a group of women who refer to themselves as "sisters for life" have gathered at the home of Bonnie Anderson. Liz Miller, Janice Clark, Mary Schawke, and Lisa Sevcik each agree to have a second cup of peach iced tea from their host and despite disagreements on various political issues, they are able to come to a consensus on a few topics.

"I don't ever recall seeing this kind of a division in my lifetime," says Schawke. "We kind of are in a civil war right now between Democrats and Republicans."

The women are all on various sides of the political spectrum but on a breezy sunny afternoon, they're able to demonstrate that heated political debates in America can still take place with decency.

Miller, in her 80s, is a staunch supporter of President Trump and often repeats lines word by word from the president. Clark, in her 70s, is a Democrat who is hungry for a candidate to unseat Mr. Trump in 2020. Anderson, 83, voted twice for President Obama and then — like many others in Iowa — supported the Republican nominee in 2016.

Schawke, 63, also voted for Mr. Trump but admits she will be keeping an eye on the eventual Democratic nominee. Meanwhile, Sevick, in her 50s, calls herself a lifelong Republican but opted to vote Democrat in 2016 and doesn't see herself supporting Mr. Trump this time around either.

During a two hour conversation that turns hostile at times, the women often stop to remind themselves of their respect for each other. The longtime friends are part of the Cedar Falls Woman's Club, a chapter of the General Federation of Women's Clubs that dates back to 1914. The group holds formal meetings on the first Wednesday of each month from September through May and currently has more than 90 members.

Schwake, a small business owner, thinks part of the reason for the division in the country is because Democrats "started pouting like little children" when Hillary Clinton lost the general election in 2016. She says she "didn't like it" when Mr. Obama won but "respected our new president," adding, "when Trump won, it has just been a battle royale."

In Iowa, 31 of the state's 99 counties flipped to Mr. Trump during 2016 election after voting for Mr. Obama in 2008 and 2012. Anderson is one of those voters, and while she says "Trump is doing some good," she now regrets voting for him because of the way he "belittles people."

"That bothers me so much" Anderson says before she is interrupted by Miller, sitting next to her on the couch with arms crossed. "I don't see anything. He belittled you? Did he?" Miller asks.

Miller, who manages a farm that has been with her family for more than a century, says "the average people" who voted for Mr. Trump "don't give a dang" about how he talks and acts.

"I think he's doing great for the United States," Miller says. "People don't like his personality, so what?"

There is some sense of anxiety in the room about the future of the economy and Anderson, breaking up the brief moment of silence after she is questioned by Miller, begins to express her unease about the recent returns on her investments.

"I am afraid of a recession, I really am," Anderson says. "I have seen those investments going down on a daily basis and I know there are millions of others who have investments and the same thing is going to happen. That is scary."

While there is disagreement about the future of America's economy, these Iowans all concur that family farming is becoming "obsolete." Schawke, with a disappointed expression on her face, says "a small farmer can't raise a family in this economy."

Miller says her youngest son, in his 50s, is a farmer who hasn't made a profit in the last three years. "He is just hand to mouth. He is just breaking even," Miller says. "It's like he's not working at all and he needs to be getting another job."

The group is split when it comes to the way Mr. Trump has handled trade negotiations with China. Miller says "it is time for China to break. They were just screwing us." Clark, sitting across the room doesn't think China will back down. "They don't need us," Clark says, adding the situation makes her very sad. "I hate to see my country go down in this area because of that."

Schawke, who grew up on a farm, admits that the trade war with China is hurting farmers in Iowa and across the country. But she says, "If we give in then we are weak," adding that she admires the president for "sticking to his guns and saying 'no' to China."

The only one at this gathering who's not an official member of the woman's club is Sevick. She wants to talk about guns in America and questions why she has to "worry about going to Walmart."

"It makes no sense that they are allowing people to buy machine type guns. I hope we can do something about that," Sevick says as Miller and Schawke interrupt her to say "guns don't kill people."

"The gun is a tool," Schawke says with a stern tone in her voice. She adds the "terrorists" who are shooting people are "mentally ill."

For Schawke, the matter is personal because she is a registered gun owner and has a permit to carry but she also has a son who is mentally ill. She says "we have to change the treatment of the mentally ill," and "help with their disease."

The group is also torn about the treatment of families at the Southern border. They want the controversial detention centers to remain in place but agree that children should not be separated from their parents.

Anderson says "parents should know they are going to be separated" and questioned why families even involve their kids in the arduous journey when the threat of separation looms at the U.S. border. Clark answered her question without hesitation saying "because they are desperate."

Clark is now looking forward to the 2020 presidential race and says her "heart goes out to Warren," referring to the Massachusetts senator who is one of the front runners for the Democratic nomination. Anderson says she is "not sure" which side she will support in 2020 after voting for the Democratic ticket twice and then switching up to the Republicans in 2016.

"I don't have full confidence in Biden but if they come up with a stronger candidate, I probably would vote Democrat," she says.

Miller predicts a "landslide" reelection victory for Mr. Trump in 2020 and says the he has her full support. Schawke said she doesn't put the president "on a pedestal," and admits her support is "wavering more than it was a year or two ago."

"I am torn," Schwake said. "For the most part he's leading our country in the right direction but he doesn't act very presidential and he insults people."

First published on August 29, 2019 / 6:33 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ranchers blamed for deforestation in Brazil rely on a booming business

By some estimates, about 80% of deforestation in the Amazon has been to make way for cattle ranches

10M ago a43-bojorquez-amazon-0829en-frame-442.jpg mei-xiang-and-tian-tian-620.jpg

Could the trade war with China cost U.S. its pandas?

The Smithsonian National Zoo's contract with China over its pandas expires next year

1H ago mei-xiang-and-tian-tian-620.jpg Donald Trump / U.S. Space Command

Trump cancels Poland trip as Hurricane Dorian approaches

The president is sending Vice President Mike Pence in his stead

1H ago Donald Trump / U.S. Space Command Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019.

Dorian expected to become "extremely dangerous hurricane"

Millions of people in Florida were warned to be ready for Hurricane Dorian's impact

updated 20M ago Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019. Trump

Trump marks establishment of U.S. Space Command

The president's "Space Force" must receive congressional approval

1H ago Trump A camera is placed near a traffic light for drivers who run red lights on Constitution Avenue Aug. 31, 2001, in Washington, D.C.

Study finds red light deaths have surged

"The problem is drivers are distracted, they're impatient and they're reckless"

5M ago A camera is placed near a traffic light for drivers who run red lights on Constitution Avenue Aug. 31, 2001, in Washington, D.C. a34-barnett-ice-kids-0829en-frame-403.jpg

Immigrant children with life-threatening illnesses can now be deported

As part of a new Trump administration policy, program that allowed immigrants to get treatment in the U.S. was eliminated

12M ago a34-barnett-ice-kids-0829en-frame-403.jpg young-person-vaping.jpg

Milwaukee urges residents to stop vaping immediately

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention​ said 193 people in 22 states have contracted severe respiratory illnesses after vaping

17M ago young-person-vaping.jpg Bed Bath & Beyond To Expand

Bed Bath & Beyond hires Goldman Sachs to explore asset sales

Retailer, which has seen its growth slow and shares slide. faces pressure from investors to turn things around

23M ago Bed Bath & Beyond To Expand 2019 US Open - Day 4

American Taylor Townsend upsets Simona Halep at U.S. Open

Halep took the first round 6-2, but Townsend came back to win the next two sets 6-3, 7-6

34M ago 2019 US Open - Day 4 U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the news media before boarding Marine One to depart for travel to Iowa from the South Lawn of the White House

Trump and 2020 divide longtime friends in Iowa

"We kind of are in a civil war right now between Democrats and Republicans"

18M ago U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the news media before boarding Marine One to depart for travel to Iowa from the South Lawn of the White House Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit Over Two Nights

What's next for candidates who didn't make the September debate?

The number of Democrats debating on stage in September has been cut in half, leaving the candidates who didn't make the cut to figure out what's next

2H ago Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit Over Two Nights Donald Trump / U.S. Space Command

Trump cancels Poland trip as Hurricane Dorian approaches

The president is sending Vice President Mike Pence in his stead

1H ago Donald Trump / U.S. Space Command gettyimages-507934474.jpg

Virtual caucus plans in Iowa and Nevada hit a snag

Both states drafted plans to allow voters to participate by phone if they're not able to attend a caucus. Iowa and Nevada are the earliest caucus states

3H ago gettyimages-507934474.jpg Lawrence O'Donnell

Lawrence O'Donnell retracts story on Trump finances

O'Donnell said, however, he still doesn't know whether or not the story is true

4H ago Lawrence O'Donnell taylor-swift-interview-1280.jpg

Taylor Swift on "Lover" and haters

The 10-time Grammy-winner – the highest-paid celebrity on the planet – opens up about songwriting, family, critics, the sale of her back catalog, and the quality of forgiveness

Aug 25 taylor-swift-interview-1280.jpg screen-shot-2019-08-29-at-3-20-02-pm.png

Alex Trebek says his chemo is over

The "Jeopardy!" host also revealed another personal tidbit: who he would like to play him in a biopic

3H ago screen-shot-2019-08-29-at-3-20-02-pm.png Jessi Combs

Racer and TV personality dies trying to break speed record

It's unclear what led to the crash, which is under investigation

4H ago Jessi Combs 2015 American Music Awards - Arrivals

"Shark Tank" star involved in boat accident that left two dead

O'Leary issued a statement saying he was a passenger on the boat that crashed into another watercraft Saturday night

16H ago 2015 American Music Awards - Arrivals screen-shot-2019-08-28-at-8-58-00-pm.png

Chanel Beauty hires first openly transgender model

"I am the first openly trans person to work for the house of Chanel, and I am deeply humbled and proud to represent my community," Teddy Quinlivan said

21H ago screen-shot-2019-08-28-at-8-58-00-pm.png 0829-ctm-ringprivacyconcerns-yuccas-1922791-640x360.jpg

Ring security system's work with police raises privacy concerns

The Amazon-owned doorbell camera company says more than 400 law enforcement agencies use its "Neighborhood Watch" program, giving police potential access to customers' videos

10H ago 0829-ctm-ringprivacyconcerns-yuccas-1922791-640x360.jpg Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook tightens rules for political ads, but loopholes remain

Company says it will confirm the identity of organizations that buy ads related to social and political issues

Aug 28 Mark Zuckerberg apple-siri-620x442.jpg

Apple apologizes for workers who listened to Siri recordings

The tech giant said it will still listen to Siri recordings, but only if consumers give permission

21H ago apple-siri-620x442.jpg Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar blasts Trump's handling of renewable fuels industry

The EPA granted 31 small refinery exemption waivers, meaning they don't have to comply with federally mandated levels of biofuels blended into gasoline

23H ago Amy Klobuchar 082719-hop1.jpg

SpaceX launches "Starhopper" test flight

The Starhopper is testing propulsion systems that will be used in SpaceX's planned heavy lift Starship spacecraft

Aug 27 082719-hop1.jpg Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019.

Kennedy Space Center bracing for Hurricane Dorian

NASA is hauling a massive launch gantry off the launch pad to avoid the threat of hurricane winds

1H ago Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019. Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019.

Dorian expected to become "extremely dangerous hurricane"

Millions of people in Florida were warned to be ready for Hurricane Dorian's impact

updated 20M ago Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019. DNA and genetics research concept. Hand is holding glowing DNA molecule in hand.

Is there a "gay gene"? Major new study says no

There's no such thing as a single gene that drives a person's sexual behavior, according to the largest study ever done on the subject

1H ago DNA and genetics research concept. Hand is holding glowing DNA molecule in hand. arctic-tern-in-flight-sherri-obrien-promo.jpg

Nature up close: Masters of long-distance flight

Arctic terns fly further than any other animal on Earth, and during the course of their lives may travel 1.5 million miles

4H ago arctic-tern-in-flight-sherri-obrien-promo.jpg Tennessee Daily Life

Special synchronous fireflies spotted

The phenomenon of synchronized fireflies has only been spotted in a few geographical areas

6H ago Tennessee Daily Life young-person-vaping.jpg

Milwaukee urges residents to stop vaping immediately

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention​ said 193 people in 22 states have contracted severe respiratory illnesses after vaping

17M ago young-person-vaping.jpg DNA and genetics research concept. Hand is holding glowing DNA molecule in hand.

Is there a "gay gene"? Major new study says no

There's no such thing as a single gene that drives a person's sexual behavior, according to the largest study ever done on the subject

1H ago DNA and genetics research concept. Hand is holding glowing DNA molecule in hand. Vaping an e-cigarette

College athlete could lose lung after vaping, dad says

The student's father said the hospital did not report the case to the CDC, which has not yet confirmed any cases in Florida

4H ago Vaping an e-cigarette teen-vaping.jpg

What parents need to know about their kids vaping

Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns acknowledges we don't yet know the long-term effects of vaping. Dr. Tara Narula has tips for parents who may be concerned for their kids

7H ago teen-vaping.jpg State's attorney Brad Beckworth presents information in the opening statements during the Oklahoma v. Johnson & Johnson opioid trial at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman

Drugmakers' liability for opioid crisis could reach $150 billion

Analysts say the $572 million ruling against Johnson & Johnson sets a benchmark for pending federal and state suits

9H ago State's attorney Brad Beckworth presents information in the opening statements during the Oklahoma v. Johnson & Johnson opioid trial at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At Annual CES In Las Vegas

Peloton's CEO said it makes money — not even close

Streaming fitness company has lost $450 million over the past three years alone, its IPO filing reveals

4H ago Latest Consumer Technology Products On Display At Annual CES In Las Vegas mei-xiang-and-tian-tian-620.jpg

Could the trade war with China cost U.S. its pandas?

The Smithsonian National Zoo's contract with China over its pandas expires next year

1H ago mei-xiang-and-tian-tian-620.jpg State's attorney Brad Beckworth presents information in the opening statements during the Oklahoma v. Johnson & Johnson opioid trial at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman

Drugmakers' liability for opioid crisis could reach $150 billion

Analysts say the $572 million ruling against Johnson & Johnson sets a benchmark for pending federal and state suits

9H ago State's attorney Brad Beckworth presents information in the opening statements during the Oklahoma v. Johnson & Johnson opioid trial at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman ap-17118543063419.jpg

AT&T got a giant tax cut but has laid off thousands, union says

Labor strife at the telecom giant is the latest sign President Trump's tax cut hasn't paid off for workers

Aug 28 ap-17118543063419.jpg GDP

U.S. economy slowed slightly in second quarter

Business investment fell amid growing fears of a prolonged trade war, while consumers kept spending

4H ago GDP 262457c8-4a4c-4564-915f-31fcafb98011-large16x9-paula-steber.jpg

Student arrested after allegedly planning shooting

Prosecutors say he had been studying mass shootings for nearly a year and planned to kill his roommate and himself if he didn't get into a fraternity

3H ago 262457c8-4a4c-4564-915f-31fcafb98011-large16x9-paula-steber.jpg ap6608010465.jpg

America's deadliest mass shootings

These are the deadliest mass shootings in American history

Aug 5 40 photos ap6608010465.jpg 0829-ctm-shootingplotarrestrdr-1922706-640x360.jpg

Teen allegedly planned mass shooting

Nineteen-year-old Paul Steber was arrested on Tuesday after investigators say he admitted to planning a mass shooting at High Point University. Police say Steber had ammunition and two firearms inside his dorm room. Just this week, there have been at least five incidents at schools in separate states where either a threat was made or guns and ammunition were found.

11H ago 00:27 0829-ctm-shootingplotarrestrdr-1922706-640x360.jpg 0829-ctm-coupleonrunrdr-1922684-640x360.jpg

Search underway for couple accused of murder

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that could lead to the arrest of an Arizona couple accused of an April murder, after they escaped from a prison van. Blane and Susan Barksdale were tracked down and arrested in Henrietta, New York, but as they were being transported back to Arizona on Monday, police say they overpowered two guards in Blanding, Utah, and broke out of the van.

11H ago 01:10 0829-ctm-coupleonrunrdr-1922684-640x360.jpg 0828-en-uawraids-reynolds-1922395-640x360.jpg

FBI raids home of UAW president

FBI raids on the homes of Gary Jones, the current president of the United Auto Workers, and his predecessor, signaled a dramatic escalation of a four-year probe into illegal payments. The corruption investigation has so far led to the convictions of eight people. Dean Reynolds reports.

23H ago 01:48 0828-en-uawraids-reynolds-1922395-640x360.jpg Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019.

Kennedy Space Center bracing for Hurricane Dorian

NASA is hauling a massive launch gantry off the launch pad to avoid the threat of hurricane winds

1H ago Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019. cbsn-fusion-trump-space-command-ceremony-2019-08-29-thumbnail-1923152-640x360.jpg

Trump establishes U.S. Space Command

President Trump marked the establishment of the U.S. Space Command in the Rose Garden, and unveiled its flag for the first time during a ceremony Thursday afternoon.

updated 43M ago 03:49 cbsn-fusion-trump-space-command-ceremony-2019-08-29-thumbnail-1923152-640x360.jpg Trump

Trump marks establishment of U.S. Space Command

The president's "Space Force" must receive congressional approval

1H ago Trump 082719-hop1.jpg

SpaceX launches "Starhopper" test flight

The Starhopper is testing propulsion systems that will be used in SpaceX's planned heavy lift Starship spacecraft

Aug 27 082719-hop1.jpg 082419-abort2.jpg

2nd time's the charm for Soyuz docking at space station

The unmanned Russian spacecraft docked with the International Space Station in its second attempt after aborting its first try

Aug 27 082419-abort2.jpg Washington Redskins v New England Patriots

Highest-paid NFL players in 2019, ranked

These are the NFL superstars who earn the most cash this season

40M ago 50 photos Washington Redskins v New England Patriots ashleyfallisparents.jpg

Ashley Fallis death: A family's fight for justice

Was the Colorado mother's 2012 death a suicide, as her husband maintains, or was it murder, as her parents insist?

Aug 24 15 photos ashleyfallisparents.jpg intro-slide.jpg

World's most polluted cities

Air pollution can cause serious health problems for people who are exposed to it, even for just a few minutes

Aug 23 51 photos intro-slide.jpg Fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Brazil

Pictures from the Amazon rainforest fires

A record number of fires have devastated the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and neighboring countries

Aug 22 30 photos Fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Brazil corbett-1.jpg

Jason Corbett murder: A look at the evidence

In August 2015, former FBI agent Tom Martens and his daughter Molly Corbett admitted killing her Irish-born husband Jason Corbett, insisting they beat him in self-defense with a brick paver and a baseball bat because Jason was choking Molly and threatening to kill her

Aug 17 11 photos corbett-1.jpg 0829-en-vaping-reynolds-1923207-640x360.jpg

Popular

Milwaukee urges residents to stop vaping

A rising number of people are suffering lung damage, apparently from e-cigarettes. At least 193 cases have been reported in 22 states. Now officials in one city are taking action. Dean Reynolds reports.

updated 3M ago 02:05 0829-en-vaping-reynolds-1923207-640x360.jpg 0829-en-doriandebrief-begnaud-1923193-640x360.jpg

Preps underway for Hurricane Dorian

President Trump canceled a weekend visit to Poland to focus on the federal storm response to Hurricane Dorian. Across Florida, people are preparing as well. David Begnaud reports.

updated 5M ago 01:44 0829-en-doriandebrief-begnaud-1923193-640x360.jpg 0829-en-dorianforecast-quinn-1923188-640x360.jpg

Hurricane Dorian on track to hit Florida

Hurricane Dorian is expected to hit Florida even harder than previously thought, prompting a widened state of emergency. WCBS chief weathercaster Lonnie Quinn is tracking the storm.

updated 5M ago 02:09 0829-en-dorianforecast-quinn-1923188-640x360.jpg master-influencers-1920x1080-1917185-640x360.jpg

Kid influencers: Few rules, big money

Being a social media influencer is now considered one of the most popular career aspirations for millennials and Gen Z. But experts warn that regulations need to be put in place as younger and younger influencers share their lives on camera. This episode of CBSN Originals looks at the lives of three families whose kids are popular influencers on social media, while exploring some of the dangers implicit in the “kidfluencer” industry.

Aug 23 23:06 master-influencers-1920x1080-1917185-640x360.jpg 0829-en-headlines-1923181-640x360.jpg

Top headlines for August 29, 2019

Here's a look at the top stories making headlines on the "CBS Evening News"

updated 9M ago 01:16 0829-en-headlines-1923181-640x360.jpg