What is the Rust Belt? Everything you need to know about the region key to winning the US election

The term refers to the abandoned factories of its cities, where white, working-class men are disaffected with the political system

Lily Pickard
Tuesday 08 November 2016 18:28 GMT
Supporters attend a campaign rally for the Republican Presidential nominee in Pennsylvania on Monday
Supporters attend a campaign rally for the Republican Presidential nominee in Pennsylvania on Monday (Getty)

What is the Rust Belt?

The Rust Belt is a region in the US where economic decline, population loss, and urban decay have left the once booming area desolate of industry.

Before this decline in the 20th Century, it was the focus of American industrial development, and was called the Manufacturing Belt or Factory Belt.

The term "Rust Belt" is meant to refer to the now abandoned factories in the area.

What Ohio thought of the final presidential debate

Where is it?

The Rustbelt covers a section of the northeast US, running from the east of the state of New York, through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, then ending in north Indiana and east Illinois and Wisconsin.

Why is it so important?

It now includes three swing states key to the 2016 US election: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.

These states are expected to be amongst 11 that will define the outcome between Trump and Clinton.

Ohio, for example, has voted the way of the winning candidate in the last 10 elections.

The financial debates of the region have also been vital to Presidential elections since the 1980s, and this election is no different.

Trump or Clinton?

White, working-class men – one of Trump’s key support bases – are key voters in this region, and the Rust Belt and its inhabitants are who Trump is appealing to to "make American great again".

Clinton, though, has made a targeted effort to try and get the region to vote for her, so it is seemingly all to play for.

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