ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Donald Trump won this week in part because of the support of large sections of the Rust Belt that once went for Democrats like Northhampton County in eastern Pennsylvania. NPR's Jim Zarroli went there to talk to Trump supporters. He asked them how their economic concerns factored into their vote and what they're expecting the president-elect to do for them.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Northampton County is a bellwether area. It's long voted for the winner in presidential elections. And it did so again on Tuesday. Chris Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, says voters in the rural parts of the county showed up in big numbers to support Trump.
CHRIS BORICK: We saw the turnout go off the charts in areas that are more white, working-class. And in areas where it's more diverse, turnout wasn't bad, but it wasn't at the level that we saw in those white, working-class areas.
ZARROLI: And Borick says economics clearly played a part in the vote. The economy here used to be dominated by Bethlehem Steel, which closed in 1995, leaving a lot of people out of work. There's now a Sands Casino where the mill used to be.
This is not some depressed corner of the Rust Belt. The county is a mix of cement plants, office parks and, increasingly, bedroom communities for Greater Philadelphia and New York City. Still, there's a lot of economic anxiety here.
Inside the one-room headquarters of the County Republican Committee, Mary Barket cleans up some of the detritus left from Tuesday's celebration. Barket, who headed a pro-Trump women's group, is a volunteer for her church's help line.
MARY BARKET: I have had people calling in, and the conversation is, I never thought we'd find ourselves in this position. But my job was cut. And I'm having a hard time finding another position.
ZARROLI: Barket says Democrats lost because they've left those people behind, people such as Trump supporter Michael Hard.
MICHAEL HARD: I come from a very liberal family. So Thanksgiving is going to be awkward (laughter).
ZARROLI: In 2008, Hard, who's married with four kids, was laid off from his job at a paint company. He says automation made his job redundant. Today he sells insurance and makes more money, but he also works longer hours. Standing outside a diner in Easton, he says the United States embraced the global economy too quickly.
HARD: Now we're seeing sort of the results of that. We have more people taking orders and less people making things these days. And I think that's something that people are tired of. They want opportunities.
ZARROLI: Hard wants Trump to slow down the pace of globalization or at least make an effort to do so.
HARD: If we don't see real, measurable progress within the first 18 months, that's going to spell doom for him the next time he wants to be elected.
ZARROLI: Like a lot of supporters, Hard doesn't expect Trump to do everything he's promised. Keith Hornick works at a family-owned construction company in another part of the county. Fox News plays on the office TV. Small business owners tend to dislike government regulation, and Hornick is no exception. He says the Obama years have been especially onerous for people like him, and he is expecting Trump to ease the burden. But his support for Trump is not unconditional.
KEITH HORNICK: Why I like Trump so much is because he wasn't from in the Beltway. He was a complete outsider, never held political office. If he starts gravitating towards the ruling class in Washington - done. I'm done.
ZARROLI: Trump won Northhampton County by convincing voters such as Hornick he understands the problems they face. In the months ahead, they're going to be watching to see if he follows through on his promises. Jim Zarroli, NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.