Like in Robeson County, Barack Obama won Erie County, Pennsylvania, by 17 points in 2012 before Trump won it in 2016. The county, which borders Lake Erie, New York and Ohio, lost one of its top employers, locomotive manufacturer GE Transportation, in 2016. That meant 1,500 employees were laid off and the unemployment rate spiked.
Parts of the city are vacant manufacturing plants and empty warehouses. Young people are fleeing the area and more than 500 Syrian refugees have come in over the last two years. Like in Robeson County, Erie is full of people who could turn on Trump if he doesn’t follow through on his promises on immigration, trade and the economy generally.
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Cynthia Weber is one of many Erie residents who knows the destructive effects of illegal drug use.
In a county that voted for Obama twice then swung to Trump, residents are tired of the media depicting them as desperate and angry.
Erie’s future includes a diversified economy that invites entrepreneurialism.
© Washington Examiner 2017