Donald Trump's Visit to Eugene Drew Fans and Foes—All of Them Yelling

Scenes from the presumptive Republican nominee's first trip to Oregon.

The water balloon landed with a splat at Hunter's feet.

The 22-year-old man in a white baseball cap turned toward the source of the balloon—a group of protesters in their early 20s who were standing a few feet behind him.

"You wanna throw water balloons at me?" Hunter asked one of the people he suspected. "Do it, you fucking pussy. Do it."

It was 7:30 pm on May 6, and Donald Trump had been in Eugene for one hour.

Inside the Lane Events Center at the Fairgrounds—a sprawling, multihall building—Trump was 13 minutes into a rambling stump speech delivered to more than 4,000 people, in which he pledged to defeat Hillary Clinton in November and bring Oregon back its timber jobs.

Outside, as many as 75 supporters were locked outside a 7-foot chain-link fence, separated by the Eugene fire marshal from seeing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee make his first appearance in the state.

They were locked outside with roughly 500 protesters—one of whom had just launched the second water balloon in three minutes at Hunter and his five Trump-backing buddies.

The crowd mocked him. "I'm gonna get in my monster truck and go back to my ranch!" someone yelled. "Go home, fascist!" another person shouted.

Eventually, having stood his ground, Hunter smiled and walked away.

The brief appearance of Trump in Eugene, a college town famed for environmental activism, unspooled without violence or even a single arrest. Yet in some ways, the atmosphere at the gate to the sun-drenched fairgrounds offered a gloomy preview of this summer's election cycle: Trump's fans were fervent, his detractors were sanctimonious, and both sides seemed to relish the release of shouting at each other.

The Trump supporters were easy to spot—thanks to their hats and shirts, pledging to Make America Great Again. Nearly all of the "Trumpers" were white. Most of them were men. The few locked outside the rally were outnumbered almost 6-to-1 by the protesters.

"How do you feel about the mass deportation of 11 to 20 million people," a female protester asked a male Trump supporter, "that would break up families like mine?" A dragonfly tattoo circled her neck. On the man's arm, Jesus watched over two elephants. The setting sun was in everyone's eyes.

"It's fully possible," he replied, "but if your family came here illegally, you knew the consequences."

"Not all of them did," she said. Her name was Amber, and she said her husband, who's undocumented, had been in the U.S. for 15 years. She said they had two kids, and paid to put his two brothers through college in Mexico.

"So we've saved two more Mexicans from coming to America," Amber says. "I should be getting a thank-you from Trump."

A police negotiator watched from nearby. A man in an ape costume held a sign reading, "Build the wall!" A woman holding three tickets to the rally begged police for more than an hour to let her inside to see Trump. They never did.

As dusk fell over Gate A and Trump's speech ended, police started ordering protesters to clear the road, suggesting that supporters were about to start coming through in their cars. The protesters did the very opposite—they crowded against the gate, trying to delay the departure of the rallygoers inside.

But the cars were being let out through another gate a few blocks to the east.

Cousins Brian Havelock and Preston Berry watched the fruitless blockade dissipate. It had grown dark, the protesters were thinning out, and the cops were leaving.

Both cousins work in building demolition, and both wore Trump hats. Berry, 22, voted in his first election four years ago, and he's not shy about whom he picked.

"Obama," he said. The Democratic message of change had resonated, he said, when he was struggling to make ends meet. So why the switch to Trump?

"Because you learned to think for yourself!" his cousin interjected.

"Obama's helped the wrong people out," Berry answered, saying that no matter how hard he worked when he was 18, he felt like he could never catch up. "It's definitely not one person's fault."

The cousins stayed at the fairgrounds until nearly 10 pm, and even shared cigarettes with one of the protesters. Yet Havelock, the older of the cousins, was pessimistic. He felt most people weren't interested in listening to each other, or even attempting a conversation. "I just feel like we're on our way to a civil war of some sort," he said.

This distressed him.

"Everybody wants a good life," he said. "You aren't going to get it by fighting."

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