Mabel, Minnesota for all standards is a typical small town. It’s located between the borders of Minnesota and Iowa in Fillmore County.
While Minnesota voted for Hillary during this election, the county of Fillmore made a shift from typically voting democratic to Trump.
In 2012 and 2008, Obama became president with 50% of the vote; however, in 2016, Trump won with 56% of the vote.
This change may seem like something that is out of place for the county, but that is not the only factor in this situation. Many of the smaller counties and towns in this area also flipped for Trump.
In order to understand this shift, it’s important to know the people in these towns and their various motives for voting Trump.
Mabel has a population of around 783 people. The majority of the people in this town are older. This was apparent after two days we encountered little to no children.
The town has an average income of over $42,000 and over 85 percent of the people have a high school education or higher.
This is important when keeping in mind that the typical Trump voter is thought to be of low-income and non-educated. This stereotype is non-existent from the demographic of people within this town.
Just like any other small town, Mabel has a main restaurant, Highway 66 where everyone in the town visits to eat delicious food. This restaurant is located on the same street that leads into the town. It’s a hybrid of both a restaurant and bar.
The waiters at the restaurant were very nice and friendly, accommodating a sizeable group like ours for not only one meal, but two.
Main Street, a street where a lot of necessities are located is the brightest area at night. There’s no way that it could be mistaken for another street. There is a small post office, shops and a Historical Inn.
The street has many commodities for the people living in the county, but many have to travel elsewhere for other items.
Since the town is so small, the people have to go to nearby places to shop. One of the main places that they go grocery shopping at Spring Grove, is about and 11-minute drive.
There were a lot of interesting things about the town.
There was a payphone located outside the telephone company. Though it worked, you could only make local calls.
The town also seemed to have religious foundations. When driving through the neighborhoods there were a couple things that stood out.
A lot of the houses had crosses on the outside of them. There was a church on every corner, all-varying in different faiths. Within a two minute drive we passed a Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist. All three situated in close proximity with one another.
Although the town seemed to be deserted, all three of these churches had cars in their parking lots. It was also outside one these churches where we saw children for the first time.
However, while walking and taking pictures of the neighborhoods we did come across one person named Rita Delshire who was walking past the library.
Although she didn’t really want to talk about politics with us, she did reveal that she had never voted once in her life even though she was in her 80’s.
Another thing that stood out was the fact that a lot of the houses looked newer. This was interesting since most of the town is old. A place where people come to settle down in life.
Overall, the people of Fillmore County are loving and open to outside visitors as the group could attest to such compassion. The county managed to destroy the stereotype that all Trump supporters are malicious and close-minded.