The Deciders: Meet the voters who hold Trump’s fate in their hands
These are the people in whose counties voting decisions continue to upend politics as usual
A retiree worried about his granddaughter’s future in Pinellas County, Florida. A factory worker in Racine County, Wisconsin, who doubts politicians will improve her life as a single mother. A Boy Scout leader willing to cross party lines to revive his blue-collar town in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. A gay, Latino student in Maricopa County, Arizona, preparing to cast his first presidential ballot.
These voters live in some of the most competitive counties in America’s presidential battleground states, places set to play an outsized role in the 2020 presidential election. All four counties were decided by four percentage points or less in 2016 and ultimately won by Donald Trump. Trump’s path to a second term will test an electoral map he realigned. He must hold the strong support of the white, working-class voters who helped him capture Florida and Pennsylvania. He will aim to build on his narrow victory in Wisconsin, which saw a decline in turnout among predominately Democratic black voters. And he is fighting to keep the onetime Republican stronghold of Arizona in his column as population shifts have put the state in play for Democrats.
What follows are the stories of four people whose voting decisions – often driven by personal experiences, they said, rather than by party affiliation – continue to upend politics as usual...