Politics

Meet The Kentucky County That Voted Blue For Its Entire 147-Year Existence — Until Trump Came Along

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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President Donald Trump managed to swing a small county in Kentucky that has been on lock by the Democratic party for the past 147 years.

Elliot County is tucked away in the foothill of the Appalachian Mountains and has voted for a Democrat in every presidential election in its 147-year existence. Trump was able to take roughly 70 percent of the vote in the county, upending nearly 150 years of Democratic domination.

It was Trump’s message of rebuilding U.S. cities and rejuvenating once forgotten industries that so resonated with the coal mining and tobacco farming Kentucky county.

“He was the hope we were all waiting on, the guy riding up on the white horse. There was a new energy about everybody here,” Steven Whitt, a diner owner in the county and registered Democrat, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

Many in Elliot County are counting on Trump to make good on his campaign promises of rebuilding the coal industry and bringing jobs back to the U.S. Despite slower than anticipated success, people within the county believe Trump has done well with boosting the stock market, he has successfully passed tax reform and is doing wonders with deregulation.

“He’s already done enough to get my vote again, without a doubt, no question,” one of the patrons at Whitt’s diner told AP.

Some think he is doing well and believe the media isn’t doing him any favors.

“With the opposition he’s had, I think he’s pulling the plow pretty good,” another one of Whitt’s patrons told AP. “For the longest time, under Obama, all we saw were trucks being pulled on wreckers, because people turned belly up, they went broke.”

Others are not as convinced that Trump can save coal, restructure the health care system for the better or really do much to combat the changes that have already taken place in the region.

“I fear that when they finally realize that Donald Trump is not the savior they thought he was — if they ever come to that realization — the morale in these rural areas will be so low that they will not ever put faith in anyone again,” Gwenda Johnson, a local resident, told AP.

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