Trump addresses supporters after being declared the winner of the Nevada Republican caucuses. REUTERS/Jim Young
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Mississippi's vast flatlands, laced with the remains of a fading industrial base, are fertile ground for the incendiary populism of Donald Trump.The four-state region is the country's least educated and least well-paid, according to federal jobs data.In polling conducted for Reuters by Ipsos, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky ranked among Trump's top seven states nationally, with more than 40 percent of Republicans and independent poll participants backing him.The 2007 to 2009 economic crisis fell particularly hard on Mississippi and neighboring states.Since 2000, jobs available in Mississippi for those with only a high school degree fell 5 percent, according to a Reuters analysis of federal occupational data.Mississippi, once a major builder of ships and furniture, has seen an exodus of thousands of jobs in both industries to China and Mexico over the past two decades.Most economists doubt Trump can revive manufacturing on its former scale in Mississippi or elsewhere, especially for unskilled workers.
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