ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Now to the presidential race. Wisconsin handed Donald Trump a big loss yesterday, so now the billionaire candidate is looking to regain his footing and build on the lead he still holds over Sen. Ted Cruz. The next big primary state to vote happens to be Trump's home state, New York. NPR's Don Gonyea was there today, talking to voters in Buffalo.
DON GONYEA, BYLINE: On Route 5, just south of downtown Buffalo, you'll find hulking shells of former steel mills, a still-bustling Ford factory and, right in between, the faded orange siding of the Woodlawn Diner. It's been here for 50 years. That's where Carl Giarrano was finishing up his breakfast today. I asked if he he's got a candidate.
CARL GIARRANO: Yes.
GONYEA: Who do you like?
GONYEA: OK, so tell me why.
GIARRANO: I think he'll get things done. I think he'll sidestep a lot of the political issues that have stymied the area, the country for quite a while.
GONYEA: Giarrano says the steel factories that were once the economic engine here only underscore Trump's message about how the U.S. has been taken advantage of when it comes to trade.
GIARRANO: Trump was talking about trade equalization back in the '80s. And at that time, he was talking about Japan and Mexico. And now, it's all the same verbiage, except it's China and Mexico.
GONYEA: So you think he's been right for a long time?
GONYEA: On Ted Cruz, Giarrano says the senator doesn't have any more experience than President Obama had when he took office. He says that's a problem, but he also acknowledges yesterday's result in Wisconsin gives him pause.
GIARRANO: Less confident, probably, than a month ago, but I'm hopeful.
GONYEA: Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Pulsui lives right behind the diner. He's working on his Jeep Cherokee next to the curb.
JEREMY PULSUI: Oh, I'm just fixing my tire. I had a bubble in the back of the wall for a while.
GONYEA: Pulsui, who's going to school to be a welder, is not a Trump supporter.
PULSUI: Oh, his ego's way too big for his body.
GONYEA: He says he does see a lot of Trump bumper stickers, though.
PULSUI: I've talked to mixed feelings about him. I've talked to people that don't like him at all. I've talked to people that love his ideas. Me, personally, building a wall - that's not right. That's not what the States was built on.
GONYEA: Pulsui isn't sure if he'll even vote in the New York primary. If he does, he says it'll only be to vote against Trump. He acknowledges that he knows nothing about Trump's rivals, Ted Cruz or John Kasich. Walking down the street a few blocks away was Brianna Leonard, who says she's turning 18 in weeks and is voting for the first time this year. She says she's neither Republican nor Democrat and offers a rare opinion of Trump - ambivalence.
BRIANNA LEONARD: I don't like Donald Trump, but I don't have a problem with him either (laughter).
GONYEA: She does cut Trump some slack over recent controversies, such as when he suggested that women who have illegal abortions should be punished.
LEONARD: No, because he corrected himself. Everyone messes up sometimes. I mean, he's human.
GONYEA: On that same block, there's a business located in an old house with a sign out front that says Donald Trump T-shirts. Inside I found owner Daniel Hanna, who says he's been shipping them out to stores wholesale.
DANIEL HANNA: Well, it's good business. We sold over 4,000 of them for $9.
GONYEA: Hanna, who's 65, says he's a lifelong Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama twice each. But this year, it's Trump. He says he likes Trump because he tells it like it is and because of Trump's business success. But he's also not above offering a bit of advice.
HANNA: Keep his mouth shut a little bit. Sometimes you've just got to look in the mirror and say, I have to tone myself down; I'm out of control here, you know?
GONYEA: Can he do that?
HANNA: I hope he can. You know, I really do.
GONYEA: And with that, Hanna straightens the green Trump T-shirts on the rack and says he's got to get back to work. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Buffalo. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.