We are following around photos of fetuses and protesters by day, but by night, we are on the prowl. Be warned, Cleveland: These ladies will be sitting in your local bars, smelling pretty bad and sunburnt, looking for anyone with juicy goss on Republican throwdowns.
But mostly, we're on Tinder. Our editors have been hounding us to post about what we find, so last night these reporters sat down with some whiskey and started swiping right.
I haven't been on straight Tinder in a long time, so initially I figured I'd ask around to see if lesbian Republicans exist. I set my profile to "Trump or Hilz? 🌈" and started filtering through the messages.
It turns out that Cleveland has a lot of cute queer girls, but apparently no cute queer girl bars. What the fuck, Cleveland? You should fix that. After zero success finding GOP lesbians, I decided to switch over to straight Tinder, hoping to see some delegates, or maybe out-of-state cops.
Within just a few minutes, I matched with a headless torso named "Champ." Champ had two photos, and one of them was a ruler with a star at the 8.5-inch mark and a winky face.
"Hey there," Champ said.
"Hey Champ," I replied. "How's your RNC?"
"I'm a libertarian," Champ said. "Do you have kik?"
"But I want to talk about politics!" I said.
"Matched the wrong guy in that case. If you want to talk about getting your brains fucked out, however..."
I asked Champ if the brains would come out my ears or my vagina, and he told me that he was giving me one last chance to cut the political bullshit and games, then unmatched me.
Shortly after my conversation with Champ, an older-looking gentleman messaged me and asked if I, "having just a few days in town," would be "playing naughty or nice."
And, that's all it took to go back to being gay on Tinder.
I wasn't sure anything could make Tinder worse than it already is at home. (I keep a list in my phone of reasons I have swiped left since moving to Seattle and it includes "wearing Google Glass," "tattoo that said 'adventure,'" and "white person with dreadlocks.")
I was wrong.
Tindering in Cleveland during the week of the RNC and swiping right on everyone because my editor wanted to see if anything funny would happen—all of those things made it worse. "Full time employed, tats, sports, wrenching on shit, listening to country music," one guy's bio read. (We did not match.)
I didn't have any luck. Two dudes answered "I'm voting for you" (gross), one said "I'll only reveal who I'm voting for over drinks...:)" (ugh), and one said, "I'm not voting for anyone... The presidents already been selected..[sic]" OK!
One nice-seeming, self-described "pretty laid back person" named Sam told me (after I said I was a reporter) that he's a conservative who plans to vote for Trump.
"Will I be part of a story for you haha," he asked, "'7 out of 10 guys I met on tinder will be voting trump this November!"
After an hour or so at the bar (where a livestream of the RNC was playing on TV) Heidi said: "I am feeling in a very dark place about the world." We decided to pick up Tinder again another day.