Despite turmoil swirling in Washington, Donald Trump’s presidency still enjoys strong support among his base, particularly in white, rural America. These are the “forgotten men and women” to whom Trump has promised much, the people who feel that recent administrations were too focused on what have become disparagingly known as urban and coastal elites. VOA reporters recently traveled to a stretch of rural counties along the upper Mississippi River that turned from “blue” to “red” – supporting Democrat Barack Obama, then backing Republican Donald Trump in 2016. They spoke to farmers and carpenters, factory workers and retirees in these overwhelmingly white, Christian, working and middle class communities, those hoping for change, and those tired of it. These are their stories.
VOA reporters spent part of February and March along the upper Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. They spoke to Americans in counties that turned from supporting the Democratic Party candidate in previous elections to the Republican Donald Trump in 2016. Our team spoke with many along the way who felt they are among the “forgotten men and women” that Trump promised to champion.
Deepak Dobhal reflects on covering the countryside