KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Don Gonyea

This story from the Detroit suburbs is a part of A Nation Engaged, a series where NPR and several member stations are taking a look at battleground communities.


Donald Trump is pinning his election hopes on a group of voters with long ties to the Democratic Party, but who've been known to abandon that loyalty — from time to time — to vote Republican.

We're talking working-class white men, especially union members, the Reagan Democrats of the 1980s.

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Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET with Senate votes

To virtually no one's surprise, the Senate failed to advance any of the four gun control proposals — two offered by Democrats, and two by Republicans — that came in response to last week's mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Here are the results:

Editor's note: This post contains language and photos some readers may find inappropriate.

I've covered presidential campaigns for decades. I've never had to bleep — or drop an asterisk into — a candidate's speech.

Until this year.

Take this Donald Trump quote from a rally in Virginia:

"We're gonna win with the military. We're gonna knock the s*** out of ISIS. We're gonna knock the s*** out of them."

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Now we're going to talk about the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. He talked about the Orlando attack during a speech in New Hampshire.

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Everywhere you turn in the world of sports, in seemingly every league, in amateur, college and professional ranks, you find athletes carrying the banner of some sort of political protest. But it started with Muhammad Ali.

Today, there's LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and their teammates wearing gray hoodies in support of Trayvon Martin.

The Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose donning a T-shirt that reads "I CAN'T BREATHE" before another game.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe taking a stand in favor of same-sex marriage.

The battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the White House is likely to center on the Rust Belt — the industrial Midwest where trade is a big issue for many voters and where the presumptive Republican nominee is predicting he will be able to cut into the Democratic Party's traditional dominance among members of labor unions.

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

At least $1.9 million of the donations to veterans groups that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reported on Tuesday came in last week, after Trump began responding to intense media scrutiny of his earlier claims about raising in excess of $6 million for veterans. Trump said on Tuesday that his efforts raised a total of $5.6 million.

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On Thursday, Donald Trump reached the magic number — 1,237. That's the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination, and he got there after 29 unbound Republican delegates decided to support him at the convention.

NPR's Don Gonyea spoke to some of those delegates to ask what made them decide to support Trump.

Ben Koppelman, Republican Convention Delegate From North Dakota

On switching support from Cruz to Trump

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Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president. Today, John Kasich, the last of Trump's 16 Republican opponents, suspended his campaign. Last night, Ted Cruz did the same after losing the Indiana primary to Trump.

Donald Trump is the apparent GOP presidential nominee after his two remaining rivals ended their White House bids.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich suspended his campaign Wednesday evening in Columbus. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the race Tuesday night after a disappointing loss in Indiana.

The rapid moves in the past 24 hours bring to a close a wild GOP primary season that leaves the one-time unlikely candidate as the party's apparent nominee.

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The Republican Ted Cruz has a teammate as he campaigns for president today.

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Bernie-mania hit Vatican City today with a crush of Italian media, cameras, boom microphones, shouting reporters and a ring of civilians, smartphones held aloft, chanting "Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!"

Sanders was not there to meet with Pope Francis, who is on the road himself visiting a refugee camp in Greece. The Democratic hopeful had accepted an invitation from the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences to speak at a conference on social and economic justice.

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After "Make America Great Again," it is perhaps the most common refrain of the Donald Trump campaign.

"I will build a wall!"

And, every time, it's followed by an ironclad guarantee from the candidate:

"And I will make Mexico pay for it."

When asked how, Trump has always been short on details. He cites leverage the U.S. has over Mexico, which needs access to the U.S. market. He has also suggested steep tariffs on Mexican-made goods.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have agreed to hold another debate in advance of the New York primary. The candidates have committed to face each other on CNN at 9 p.m. on April 14 in New York, the network says.

The very important New York primary takes place on April 19.

Each of their campaigns had a hard time coming up with a date and venue the other side would accept, and each insisted it was the other side that was holding things up.

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