Why Buchanan County, Virginia’s election results are important
Buchanan County gave President trump his biggest margin of victory in the two thousand sixteen presidential election nearly eighty percent voted for him compared to just over eighteen percent for Hillary Clinton. President trump has done little to expand his political base since then and to secure victory this time around, he'll need to maintain his base in working class comedies like the Canon. So how is support in Buchanan holding up this time around and what can you tell us about trump's base across the country? We turn now to our senior editor Bob Davis Hi Bob thanks for being here. Sure. Thanks for inviting me. So, tell us a little bit more about the canons economy which has relied heavily on coal mining has that changed during the pandemic what's going on there now? Will you know you voted Cannon County and you can read about the pandemic and people will tell you how it's affected them. But you don't honestly see it. It is a place where few people wear masks where people are back in their offices not in general not observing social distancing and it is a place where the pandemic has moved through the county just as it has in other places. So what? You see for the pandemic is, for instance, the high school which was went virtual in the spring they tried a mixture of in-person and virtual mostly in person for the full the issue there one reason an additional reason there to go in person compared to other places is you know it's it's a place that's full of mountains and valleys, and the the Internet reception's not very good in a lot of places so. That would argue to have kids come back and go to school in person. Well, when I was there, it happened that three kids tested positive and they wound up going off virtual. School. Which of course had the usual effect on parents who have to take care of the kids so I mean there's that and then the economy. The economy's slowing. As again as you would see around the country, the coal mines shut or slowed. During the spring, but they're back shopping is down retail sales are down and it's a place where the unemployment rate you know went up to eleven percent. It's now the most recent is around nine percent. So even a place that's used to having a weak economy. In What is clearly recession? President trump is still expected to win the county in this election, but a lot has changed for many of his supporters there're especially during the pandemic. Bob, can you tell us more about what you heard from them and how they're thinking about voting this time around sure I mean they are still overwhelmingly in favor of president trump overwhelmingly but. Then you have to define what is overwhelmingly mean in two thousand sixteen. He got eighty percent of the vote in the general election. So will he get eighty percent of the vote? Will he get seventy percent of the vote will as many people show up to vote for him? These are all questions that are uncertain at this point, the answers to which. Are, uncertain as I say the people there in general are still quite supportive but even his supporters wonder if other supporters are basically suffering from what you might call trump fatigue, the four years of controversy the pandemic which it's Cannon County as much as it hits, you know anywhere else you know all the controversies and so even his supporters wonder whether they'll get. As larger turn out, it doesn't mean necessarily vote for Joe Biden mean that they don't show up to vote another issue is that it's a place with the weak economy as I said and the number and people are leaving people the population there is being greatly reduced over the past twenty thirty years and even from two thousand, sixteen to two, thousand twenty, there are fewer people in the county. So there are fewer potential voters for the president. Did you talk to any voters who did vote for trump in two thousand sixteen and are now considering voting for? Biden. Yes. I spoke particularly to a couple. Francis and Rayburn. Minton who run a clinic in Grundy it's tucked away in a food city supermarket and they as are many people in that area they were Democrats. This is an area that until Brock Obama actually voted democratic in the presidential election like a Lotta places in West Virginia and in South West Virginia, and then they had voted for president trump largely. Because of his promises about the coal economy bring back know the local economy to stronger state and they now are voting against him because they are upset at the way they feel he is mismanaged the response to cove it. I mean they see it up front you know they do testing for covid and the they have arguments with patients, potential patients, potential customers who WANNA test but we're we're a mask and a attributed a lot of the resistance to wear masks to the president's often disdainful attitude toward mass square.