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The Counties That Flipped From Obama To Trump, In 3 Charts

Donald Trump's surprise victory on Tuesday came largely due to his over-performance of expectations in the Midwest. His populist, anti-trade deal message was tailor-made for this region, but polling hadn't shown him pulling ahead of rival Hillary Clinton there.

But on Election Night, it was clear the surveys had missed a massive surge in some places and shifts in others of white, working-class voters in Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that helped Donald Trump pull off the upset.

These maps show where the Trump surge happened and the places that flipped from supporting President Obama in 2012 to going for the Republican nominee and billionaire real-estate mogul just four years later.

In some places, the changes were more concentrated. Just three counties flipped from Obama to Trump in the Keystone State — Erie County along the Ohio border, Northampton County in the Allentown suburbs and Luzerne County, where the Wilkes-Barre suburbs. Luzerne saw a 25-point swing from Obama to Trump. Traditionally red counties in Pennsylvania, in particular, saw a massive shift in the margins toward Trump, as well.

But in Wisconsin — the state that ended up putting Trump over the top in the electoral vote early Wednesday morning — 22 counties that had once voted for Obama switched to Trump. Some of those counties — such as Sawyer, Forest and Adams — have some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

Michigan had 12 counties that went from blue to red, including critical Macomb in the Detroit suburbs and the swing counties of Calhoun and Monroe.

Iowa had a whopping 31 of its 99 counties that went from the Obama column to Trump's. The bellwether county of Cedar, which has picked the winner of every presidential race since 1992, again got it right. Even though Obama carried it by 4 points in 2012, Trump won it by 18 this year.

You can check out the demographic trends, unemployment data, education level in these states and more in the state tables and results complied by the NPR Visuals Team. Other states, such as Minnesota and Maine, also saw significant swings from Obama to Trump. Clinton held on narrowly to win in Minnesota, though 19 counties went from the blue to the red column from four years ago. In Maine, Trump picked up 1 electoral vote for winning Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

There were some swings from red to blue for Clinton. In California, Orange County voted for Republican Mitt Romney by 8 points in 2012, but Clinton carried it by 5 on Tuesday.

And in Georgia, a state Democrats believe has been trending their way, Gwinnett and Cobb counties in the Atlanta suburbs both went for Clinton after having voted Republican four years ago.

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Jessica Taylor is a political reporter with NPR based in Washington, DC, covering elections and breaking news out of the White House and Congress. Her reporting can be heard and seen on a variety of NPR platforms, from on air to online. For more than a decade, she has reported on and analyzed House and Senate elections and is a contributing author to the 2020 edition of The Almanac of American Politics and is a senior contributor to The Cook Political Report.