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An Indiana race shows the clash within the two parties

3 19 47
06.11.2018

CHESTERTON, Ind.

For decades, this town in the steel-producing northwest corner of Indiana has voted reliably Democratic, a pocket of blue in a reddening state. Barack Obama carried surrounding Porter County in both 2008 and 2012.

Yet in 2016 Porter went for Donald Trump, one of 206 such Obama-Obama-Trump counties nationwide.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Democrats’ hopes of flipping upscale, moderate GOP suburbs this year, but counties such as Porter, many of them heavily white working-class, are also crucial.

Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly cannot keep his seat in one of the closest Senate races in the country unless men and women here come back to blue. In a state Trump won by 19 points in 2016, and where the president has a 53 percent job approval rating in the latest Ball State University poll, Donnelly needs a big margin in the northwest — “the region,” as it’s known.

The question, evident at a raucous rally of the United Steelworkers union on a recent Monday night in Chesterton, is exactly what message can regain this once-reliable constituency when unemployment in Indiana is negligible, Trump has granted the steel industry protective tariffs and many working-class voters harbor doubts about the national party’s stances on social issues.

“Some of you might not like what........

© Washington Post