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Frustrated and forgotten: Dispatches from Trump's heartland on Election Day

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Frustrated and forgotten: Dispatches from Trump's heartland on Election Day

WATCH  | You could call McDowell County, West Virginia one of the most pro-Trump counties in America. Vowing to bring back coal jobs in Appalachia, Donald Trump scored his biggest win of the primary season here. Cecil Patterson, a registered Democrat, is voting for Trump -- hear his story.

Trump's pro-coal message resonates with many residents who've watched as their once-prosperous mining towns have fallen into poverty. 

Voters headed to the polls on Election Day -- many of them lifelong Democrats -- told Circa they view Trump as their only hope. 

One of the poorest counties in the nation

The decline of the coal industry hit McDowell County hard -- it's now one of the poorest counties in the nation. It has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the entire state. And at 64 years, life expectancy for men is on par with Namibia in Africa.

Many McDowell residents are skeptical of Trump's promise to restore the coal economy. But Hillary Clinton's  promise to "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business," has made her deeply unpopular.

Frustrated and forgotten: Dispatches from Trump's heartland on Election Day

WATCH  | Like many residents of this  blue-collar community, Hobert Collins, a 36-year-old unemployed McDowell resident, is a Democrat. But unlike most of them, he's voting for Clinton. He knows he's in the minority here

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Ed Shepard has run the Union 76 service station 66 years. 
"It was a real good business for many years. It's not very profitable now because the people are gone."

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At its height, McDowell County was home to 100,000 residents. But today, diminishing jobs in the coal industry has left McDowell County with a population one-fifth that amount.

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Harold McBride, owner of the Sterling Diner, says business is suffering. Back in its prime, his restaurant used to have six waitresses and three cooks. It now has one of each. 

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WATCH  | For the news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.

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