On The Ground

Nebraska: Life as a Democrat in the 'reddest' corner of America

In the third in our series of reports on America's forgotten voters, we are in Nebraska's third congressional district where Donald Trump won 74 percent of the vote in 2016, making it one of the "reddest" parts of the country. For the region's few Democrats, merely expressing their political views can be daring.

Bill and Delores Schatz at their home near Seward, Nebraska, USA, on October 29, 2020.
Bill and Delores Schatz at their home near Seward, Nebraska, USA, on October 29, 2020. © Sam Ball, FRANCE 24

Unlike most other states, Nebraska splits its electoral votes between congressional districts and the third district is possibly the most pro-Republican part of America. It hasn't backed a Democrat at the polls since 1936 and ranks low on the list of priorities for both presidential candidates.

For Jessica Manley, chair of the Democratic Party in Seward County, within the 3rd, this means her job can be a challenge.

"It's a great place to raise a family, however it's not a great place to maybe voice a different opinion," she told FRANCE 24.

"You just kind of know who you can talk to and who you can't talk to about certain issues, especially political issues."

Nevertheless, some are unafraid to publicly display their party allegiance. But doing so can be risky, as Bill and Delores Schatz found out after putting up a sign reading "Dump Trump" outside their home.

"We were in the house, it was about 10.45 at night, and we heard two loud bangs and I came out with a flashlight and somebody had shot at the sign with a shotgun," said Bill.

"Kaboom! Very loud, very loud. It scared me," added Delores. "They make me a little nervous because they are armed people."

Click on the video player above to watch the full report.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Take international news everywhere with you! Download the France 24 app