Trump stumps in cities not like na­tion over­all

He’s gone to places that are whiter, less ed­u­cated, not as rich

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - ELECTION 2018 - By Josh Boak

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:

Lower in­comes

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.

Ni­cholas Kamm / Getty Im­ages

Sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump lis­ten as he speaks Satur­day in Pen­sacola, Fla., a state he won in the 2016 elec­tion.

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