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Archived FT Series

US presidential election 2012

John McDermott, executive comment editor of the FT, has toured the USA to discover how the presidential election campaign has been perceived at grassroots level in America’s heartland

Oil, toil and and a litany of trouble

Williston, North Dakota: An apt place to finish the tour of the US heartland

An illustration depicting Republicans in the American mid-west
©Joey Marsh

The Diary: John McDermott

The FT’s executive comment editor follows the US presidential election up-close on his tour of the American Midwest

Boom Town finds prosperity - at a price

North Dakota celebrates a shale oil bonanza amid a loss of innocence

Bleak future weighs heavy on Sioux lands

Pine Ridge, South Dakota: Poverty, low life expectancy and high infant mortality plague reservations

Land of the free, home of the brazen

Rapid City, South Dakota: In the US heartland kindness sours when politics comes up

In the cornfields of Nebraska

West Point, Nebraska: Farm boom is too late to reverse exodus from country to city

Democrats find barren ground in Nebraska

O’Neill, Nebraska: Contemporary economics meets political history

Missing Mitt in Iowa

Adel, Iowa: In which the author experiences a car accident, and the kindness of strangers

Moderates lick wounds in ‘bleeding Kansas’

Eudora, Kansas: The state is home to old money and new ideas

Cookies, crossbows and illegal immigrants

Topeka, Kansas: Kris Kobach and the Republican problem with illegal immigration

Marketing the word of the Lord

Lenaxa, Kansas: How can a country combine religious tolerance with religious intensity?

Republicans see home truths in Afghan book

Eleven years of war has led to anguish in Republican foreign policy

Gutterball blues

Independence, Missouri: Obama centrists deflated by debate

Super-Pac rallies support for Romney

Springfield, Missouri: Republicans target healthcare, unemployment and debt

Rational irrationality in US politics

Springfield, Missouri: The idea that America is polarised is a given across the political spectrum

Just how socialist is Barack Obama?

St Louis, Missouri: About half of Americans believe the term ‘socialist” applies well or very well to Barack Obama

Bellwether state loses the Obama groove

St Louis, Missouri: Most ignore renaming of central boulevard in honour of the president