A pro-Trump sign at a manufacturing facility in Detroit, MI in January, 2020.

A pro-Trump sign at a manufacturing facility in Detroit, MI in January, 2020.

Fewer than 80 thousand votes across Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

The blue collar, union-heavy workforce that was once a reliable base of Democratic support in these states had unexpectedly crossed party lines.

Was this an anomaly, or is the Democratic Party’s base undergoing a more permanent realignment?

For this edition of 1A Across America, we’re visiting three areas of Michigan to explore shifting political allegiances ahead of the 2020 election.

Show and text by James Morrison.

1A Across America is funded through a grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 that is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.


  • Zoe Clark Program Director, Michigan Radio. Co-Host, “It’s Just Politics” weekly radio broadcast; @zoemelinaclark
  • Whit Ayres Republican strategist and pollster; president and founder, North Star Opinion Research; @whitayres
  • Joe DiSano Democratic political consultant; owner, DiSano Strategies; @JoeDiSano
  • Jacinda Cason Black voter in Detroit., MI-12; volunteer, Color of Change PAC; @jacindacason
  • Bryan DeHenau Owner of a construction company in the greater Detroit metropolitan area, Michigan, voted for President Obama and then voted for President Trump in 2016
  • Kathleen VanPoppelen White Republican voter in Oakland County, Michigan, MI-8;

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