Trump stumps in cities not like nation overall
He’s gone to places that are whiter, less educated, not as rich
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is in the final stretch of a 44-city blitz for the midterm elections, but the America he’s glimpsed from the airport arrivals and his armored limousine is hardly a reflection of the nation as a whole.
The president has mostly traveled to counties that are whiter and less educated and that have lower incomes than the rest of the U.S., according to Census Bureau data. It’s a sign that he is seeking to galvanize the same group of voters that helped carry him to victory in 2016.
Since March, Trump has crisscrossed the country. The majority of his trips have been to just nine states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Indiana, West Virginia and Nevada.
Except for Nevada, Trump won all those states in 2016. And this year, seven of them feature a major Senate race with a Democratic incumbent.
Here is a portrait of the America that the president is seeing:
Trump has journeyed to counties where it’s slightly more of a struggle to reach and stay in the middle class.
Out of his scheduled rallies, 74 percent are in counties with median incomes that fall below the national level. But he’s brought tidings of a 49-year low rate of unemployment and accelerated economic growth to places that mostly lag the median U.S. household income of $55,032.
“Your state is booming like never before,” Trump told a crowd in Wheeling, W.Va. “And our great coal miners are back to work.”
Fewer college degrees
Just 18.1 percent of the adults in Elko County, Nev., hold a college degree. That’s compared with 30.3 percent nationwide. Of the 43 places Trump visited, 28 have a below-average share of college graduates.
When Trump has gone to more educated counties, it’s often because they have a major college campus and venues where people can gather.
Other than his rallies at big cities, Trump has generally been in communities that are overwhelmingly white. The U.S. population is 73.3 percent white, but almost three-fourths of the places where the president has stumped for midterms are above that average.
In the county surrounding Council Bluffs, Iowa, 88.7 percent of the population is non-Hispanic white. Trump told the crowd at a rally there that Democrats would allow Central American gangs to immigrate freely into the U.S., a claim disputed by Democratic lawmakers.
“They want to turn America, these Democrats — and that’s what they want — into a giant sanctuary for criminal aliens and the MS-13 killers,” Trump said.
In the area around Council Bluffs, 6.1 percent of the population is of Mexican descent. One percent are from other Hispanic nations. By comparison, 17.3 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic.
The biggest outlier in Trump’s schedule may be his rally today in Macon, Ga. Its county is 53.9 percent black, making it the lone place he’s visited where minorities are the majority.
Supporters of President Donald Trump listen as he speaks Saturday in Pensacola, Fla., a state he won in the 2016 election.