America’s pendulum voters

Vigo County voted twice for Obama, then for Trump. Lyndsey Jefferson sees what the 2020 race looks like from her home state.

The World Today Updated 20 November 2020 Published 10 February 2020 4 minute READ

Terre Haute, a small city in western Indiana, could be mistaken for a film set with its Americana aesthetic and streets lined with independent shops and restaurants. Farmland surrounds the urban area of about 60,000 people, and four colleges and universities are based here.

Vigo County, which encompasses Terre Haute, has served as a reliable bellwether for the US presidential election, consistently picking the winner since the 1890s.

What is it about this Midwestern melting pot that makes it a county to watch in the 2020 elections? Max Jones, editor of the Tribune-Star, attributes it to the unique makeup of the population: ‘Vigo County has throughout its history been a working-class community with deep roots in the labour movement. You also have the higher education influence along with the area being a magnet for the healthcare sector. This is in addition to the manufacturing base.

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