Tag Archives: Trump Country

Beto’s been to all counties, even to the heart of Trump Country

I love how Beto O’Rourke boasts about visiting all 254 Texas counties. For the life of me I cannot fathom that, but the Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz stands by his story … and he’s sticking with it.

I cannot help but wonder how he fared when he ventured into tiny Roberts County, just northeast of Amarillo along U.S. 60. It’s been said of Roberts County that it has far more livestock than live human beings.

However, the New York Times profiled Roberts County a year ago as the nation’s friendliest county for Donald John Trump. I looked up the results from the 2016 presidential election. Trump carried Texas by about 9 percentage points, which is down from the total that previous Republican presidential nominees — Mitt Romney in 2012 and the late John McCain in 2008 — scored in their losing bids against President Obama.

Roberts County, though, voted 94 percent for Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton got the handful of votes remaining.

How does someone such as O’Rourke, a flaming liberal/progressive, actually campaign in Roberts County? I haven’t been privy to news reports on how this event took place.

Suffice to say, though, that it speaks quite well of the young man from El Paso that he is willing to travel into the heart of Trump Country — and I consider Roberts County to be Ground Zero — and pitch his notion of good government.

His strategy seems to be to cut his party’s losses in the deepest Republican-red regions of the state and hope he holds onto his margins in the urban centers where Democrats usually outperform Republicans.

If he can cut the GOP margin in Roberts County by, say, three ballots, I figure the young man is on a roll.

Do political junkies have identifying marks?

In this Sept. 29, 2016, photo, local residents receive their ballots at the Polk County Election Office on the first day of early voting in Des Moines, Iowa. Many Americans have at least some doubts about votes in this year's presidential election will be counted accurately, and a significant number are concerned about the possibility of interference in the election by foreign hackers. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

PIEDMONT, S.D. — I’m wondering if I have some kind of mark on my forehead that identifies me as a “political junkie.”

Here’s what happened at a convenience store in what more than likely is Trump Country.

I picked up a copy of the Rapid City Journal and then met a young man standing in a short line waiting to pay for some items.

“Hey, the election is almost here,” he said, then he asked, “Have you voted?:

“No,” I said. “I don’t believe in voting early.”

“What the heck,” he said. “Our votes won’t be counted anyway.”

“Aw, yes they will,” I replied.

“Who do you think will win?” the young man asked. “Hillary,” I said.

“Do you want her to win?” he asked. “I just told you who I think will win, so I will just leave it at that,” I responded.

Other than the first takeaway I gleaned from this chance meeting — the one about any potential identifying marks — there’s another one.

Donald J. Trump’s repeated — and ridiculous — assertions about a “rigged election” seems to have taken root in the skull of at least one young voter.

As we left the store, I encouraged the young man to vote — despite his doubts that they’ll count his ballot.