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Latest update : 2017-01-13

Video: Meeting Trump voters in Wisconsin

© France 24

On January 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in as 45th president of the United States. With his promise of radical change in American politics, he won several states that until then had voted solidly Democrat. Among them was Wisconsin. How did the New York billionaire win over this rural and working-class state? Our reporter Gallagher Fenwick went to meet his voters.

With its fields as far as the eye can see and its paper mills, Wisconsin represents the heart of America.

Both rural and industrial, this northern US state had long been a Democratic stronghold. No Republican had won here since Ronald Reagan in 1984. In fact, Hillary Clinton was so sure of winning Wisconsin that she did not visit it once during the presidential campaign.

But on November 8, 2016, everything changed: Wisconsin narrowly voted for Donald Trump. No one had predicted this result. Today, simply visiting this state, best known for its dairy products, helps us better understand how its working-class and rural voters were won over by a New York billionaire. For conservatives in Wisconsin, the victory of an unorthodox, anti-establishment candidate felt like getting revenge on a Democratic elite that was deemed contemptuous of them. Some recall that the outgoing president Barack Obama accused the conservatives of clinging to their weapons and their religion. And the attacks of Hillary Clinton, who called Donald Trump’s voters a "basket of deplorables", made things worse.

Neither red (Republican) nor blue (Democratic), this divided Midwest state is best described as purple. It’s difficult to know at first glance whom a person voted for. The stories we gathered are not those of voters struggling to make ends meet, nor of uneducated Americans. From the businesswoman to the farmer, but avoiding the clichés, our reporter Gallagher Fenwick has been to meet some of those who enabled the surprise victory of the 45th US president.

 

By Gallagher FENWICK , Philip CROWTHER

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