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Is Appalachia Trump Country?

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Anne Li/ WVPB
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Coal miner Jonathan Griffith sits with his wife, Jessica Griffith while she holds Rowan. The family lives in Wyoming County, West Virginia.

Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal mining jobs?

Trump won 95 percent of Appalachian counties, and 69 percent of West Virginia voters chose him - the highest percentage of any state.

But that doesn’t mean everyone here is happy with the results.

On this week's episode of Inside Appalachia we check back in with some Appalachian supporters of President Trump. We'll also listen back to a classic episode, where we hear from Trump opponents. They’ll talk about their hopes and fears surrounding Trump.

We'll hear updates on the 100 Days in Appalachia project, a collaborative media project which launched right after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. We'll hear how the project is going, now that we’re more than halfway through the first 100 days of the Trump Administration.

We also check in with coal miner Jonathan Griffith and his wife Jessica, to hear their reactions of Trump’s first few months of office. The Griffiths say they’re still betting on Trump to come through on his promises to bring more jobs to coal country. They also share how religion shaped their decision to vote for Trump. 

We had help producing Inside Appalachia this week from the Us and them Podcast, and The Front Porch Podcast.

Music in today’s show was provided by Jake Schepps, Andy Agnew Jr., and Ben Townsend,

Scott Finn edited our show this week with help from Suzanne Higgins.

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Jessica can be heard on Inside Appalachia and West Virginia Morning the station’s daily radio news program. You can reach her at jlilly@wvpublic.org
Roxy Todd joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in 2014 and works as the producer for Inside Appalachia. She's the recipient of a National Edward R. Murrow Award for "Excellence in Video," for a story about the demands small farmers face in West Virginia. She also won a National PMJA Award For "Best Feature" for her story about the history of John Denver's song "Country Roads." You can reach her at rtodd@wvpublic.org.
Suzanne Higgins is Executive Producer for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, headquartered at WSWP-TV in Beckley, and is currently the producer, host, and managing editor of The Legislature Today, the network’s nightly news program covering the West Virginia Legislature. You can reach her at shiggins@wvpublic.org