Trump dominated rural areas, especially among white evangelical Christians, who are disproportionately rural. In exit polls, about 80 percent of white evangelicals said they voted for Trump. Research has identified many reasons for this: fears of losing their rights, fears of losing white cultural primacy, and resentment of "coastal elites" while rural economies still struggled to recover from the recession. Many of those fears were fanned by evangelical media sources that have filled the void left by weakened or closed newspapers.
|Forest County, Wisconsin|
Gerber said that many in the county of 9,000, which includes two Native American reservations, have strained relationships because of politics. Farmer Jennifer Nery, a former local Republican Party official, said she regrets her vote for Trump and thinks many others do too, but thinks they're being quiet so as not to ruffle feathers. Her change of heart led to a falling out with her friend Terri Burl, now the Forest County GOP chair, McGreal reports.
Burl says she doesn't think Trump's support is declining in rural areas, and waves away notions that the president should not receive support because of his morality. "People always say, look at how he treats people, his affairs, how he cheated on his wife," she told McGreal. "People like me say I’m not voting for him to be my pastor, my father, my role model. I’m voting for him to get some things done in Washington, D.C., that have never been done before. We forgive him because of other things."