|Trump in Radford, Va., Monday (Roanoke|
Times photo by Stephanie Klein-Davis)
Adams, a former reporter for The Roanoke Times, writes: "The American South is about to put its stamp on the 2016 campaign—a stamp that could all but end the presidential primary race." Voters today in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia "will decide two-thirds of the day’s vote for both Democrats and Republicans, definitively framing the campaign and perhaps ending it."
Residents in the rural South are "haunted by empty factories and warehouses that symbolize the once-dominant businesses that have long since departed for more profitable locales," Adams writes. "Economic instability has left those who haven’t fled to the metro areas feeling anxious and unrepresented. The resulting frustration has propelled politicians who have harnessed that angst into outsider campaigns by attacking those at fault." (Huffington Post map: States voting today)
Adams uses southwest Virginia as his object example. John Bassett III, subject of former Roanoke Times reporter Beth Macy's book Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local—and Helped Save an American Town, told Adams, “Politically, I don’t care whether you’re on the right over there, or if you’re on the left, all the way over to Bernie Sanders, I think you’ll find not only anger, you’ll find frustration. We have a whole segment of our population that has been forgotten. They have been left behind.” The book, based on Bassett's experiences in Galax, Va., is reportedly in production to be a mini-series on HBO produced by Tom Hanks.