Trump's agenda resonated in rural America

DUBLIN, Ga. -- Some of what President-elect Trump promised he can do with his own pen -- deporting illegal immigrants, for example. Others, such as repealing Obamacare, will require Congress. Like President Obama eight years ago, the people who put him in office have great expectations.

We sat down with three Trump voters at the Minute Grill, where diners have chewed over politics since 1963. 

“If Donald Duck had been running against Hillary Clinton, I would have voted for Donald Duck,” said Harold Martin, who is retired Navy. 

Joe May is a soybean farmer. They’re both lifelong Democrats. Not this year.

How can Trump make Dublin great again?

“By helping the economy,” May said. “Putting more money in here. Money is everything.”

That was their big issue.

Trump’s message of America-in-decline resonated in Dublin, Georgia, population 16,000. This midpoint between Atlanta and Savannah was once a manufacturing hub.

On Election Night, America’s rural areas voted overwhelmingly for Trump. Urban areas were Clinton country: She won 81 percent of Georgia’s metro vote.

CBS News

The Trump vote in Dublin’s Laurens County mirrored much of rural America: He won almost 2-to-1.

Lance Hooks is a 39 year-old registered Republican. He remembers when Trump campaigned in rural Georgia back in February.

“He was smart enough to come rally his base,” Hooks said. “His base was the working-class America and that is the reason he got the electoral vote he got.”


Minute Grill in Dublin, Georgia.

CBS News

When Hooks looked at the Electoral College map, he said “Trump had better coverage than Verizon.”

Hundreds of people in this area work for three foreign-owned factories. Trump won in counties like this despite his anti-free trade stance because working-class voters think this country needs a CEO.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.