CERTAIN states in the US are deemed crucial in determining who will become President – and the rust belt is part of this.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden are watching the US election results come in, with the first to reach 270 Electoral College votes winning the race for the White House.
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What are the rust belt states?
The "rust belt" covers:
- Central New York
- Michigan Peninsula
- North east Wisconsin
These states were centers of coal mining, steel production, heavy industry and manufacturing in the early 20th century.
They prospered during the post-war economic boom but hardship has taken its toll.
Where did the name come from?
The region has been called the "rust belt" due to industrial decline in the 1970s and 1980s.
In these states' heyday, they were centres of industrialisation and manufacturing.
But widespread job losses, due to machines replacing workers, resulted many disused factories in the area being left to “rust”.
Before economic decline hit the region, the area was referred to as the Manufacturing Belt, Factory Belt, and Steel Belt.
Why are rust belt states important in US elections?
Areas such as Scranton (Pennsylvania), Gary (Indiana), Detroit (Michigan) – names that have become known for industrial decline, population loss and poverty – holds key voters for a presidential election.
In 2016, Donald Trump made the rust belt a central feature of his campaign.
And the group of traditionally Democratic states won Mr Trump the presidency after much campaigning in the area.
The President promised to boost American steel production, reactivate domestic manufacturing and bring back jobs.
But the belt also travels across "Swing States"- or states that traditionally go between the two parties.
Pennsylvania is seen as a valuable swing state with 20 Electoral College votes.
The important swing states in the 2020 election are:
- North Carolina
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