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Echoes from Route 50

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Last night, as I sat watching all the noisy commentary and banter of election night, I kept hearing echoes – faint, but familiar. They weren’t coming from the reporters or the pundits, but from the numbers themselves – especially when the election map turned to middle-of-the-country places like Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kansas.

What was coming back to me, as the numbers rolled in, were the comments I’d heard during the spring of 2005, when I spent 50 days on the road talking politics with people who live along US Route 50. That highway slices through the heart of the nation, from Maryland to California. I figured if I spent some time with people who live along that road, I’d understand more about why people vote the way they do.

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