November 2, 2017

West Virginia still all-in for President Trump

Grant County, W. Va., has the distinction of being the Trump-iest county in the second Trump-iest state in America. That is, 88 percent of Grant County’s voters cast their ballots for the Republican nominee in last year’s presidential election, the highest share of any of West Virginia’s 55 counties. West Virginia was the second most pro-Trump state; 68 percent of Mountain State voters supported Trump, only 0.3 points behind Wyoming.

Recently at the Apple Harvest Festival in Burlington, just a few miles north of Grant County on West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, residents discussed how they think Trump is performing so far.

“I like his values. I like Trump’s values. I think he’s gonna do good for us,” said Debbie Walker, a middle-aged white woman. “Yeah I think he’s doing well.”

“I’ll tell you what,” said Dale, a retiree. “President Trump, and I prayed to God that he would be elected, he’s for all the right things. I mean, he was against abortion, same-sex marriages, sex changes and all that corrupt stuff that’s not biblical at all. I mean, you know, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for these homosexuals back in those days. So, it’s a sin.”

Republicans here say Trump is doing a good job. They pin any grievances they may have on other political actors — Democrats, congressional Republicans, and especially the media.

The deep distrust of the media is something I have encountered again and again while reporting throughout the country for The Race To 2020. According to a recent poll, nearly half of Americans think the media make up stories about Trump. That includes nearly three-quarters of Republicans.

Even Democrats in Grant County believe most residents think Trump is doing just fine. Unlike much of the state, which is historically Democratic and only recently began voting for Republican candidates, Grant County has always been overwhelmingly Republican. In fact, the county has never given a Democratic presidential candidate as much as 40 percent of its vote since its creation in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War.

This video was originally featured as a part of the Washington Examiner’s series The Race To 2020: The people and places that will define a presidency. You can read more here.

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