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What a bus trip through 11 key states says about the presidential election




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Vincent "Nox" Gonzalez, 25, itinerant roofer and aspiring rapper, on the way to Columbus, Ohio. He was traveling to El Paso and planned to vote for Clinton. (Photograph by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg.)
Photographs by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg
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The Greyhound bus terminal in Los Angeles, the destination for Esmé Deprez' two-week trip across the country. Photographs by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg
Photographs by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg
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James Carlson, a 77-year-old Democrat of Lexington, NE, at TEP's Bar & Grill. He retired from research and development at Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Houston. Jerry Dannehl, 72, also of Lexington, who owned a construction company before retiring, is a registered Republican and twice voted for President Barack Obama. Carlson was undecided, Dannehl planned to vote for Clinton. (Photograph by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg)
Photo by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg
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Jermaine Cook, 43, was traveling from Oklahoma to see his mother in Des Moines, Iowa. He said he planned to vote for Trump in November. (Photo by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg.)
Photo by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg


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Imagine getting on a Greyhound bus in Philadelphia and heading west, stopping in 11 states in two weeks and talking with fellow passengers along the way.

The topic of conversation? This season's heated presidential election - and the issues important to each person along the way.

"We really wanted to get past the pundits and the media narratives driving the day and get out and sit and talk to actual voters," said Esmé Deprez, reporter at Bloomberg News, who embarked on the trip along with photographer M. Scott Brauer and posted profiles and interviews with people along the way. The two interviewed 100 people during a journey that captured a slice of the country often left out of the political dialogue – auto mechanics and artists, immigrants with documents and without, farmers and felons.

Robin Brown, 41, former Army helicopter pilot owns an event-planning business, lives in Grand Junction, CO. Sarah Shrader, 42, employs 40 at a company that designs and builds aerial entertainment, such as zip lines, lives in Grand Junction, CO. (Photo by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg)
Robin Brown, 41, former Army helicopter pilot owns an event-planning business, lives in Grand Junction, CO. Sarah Shrader, 42, employs 40 at a company that designs and builds aerial entertainment, such as zip lines, lives in Grand Junction, CO. (Photo by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg)
Photo by M. Scott Brauer for Bloomberg

The results are enlightening and shed light on how things could play out come November.

"Everyone has their own story and their own reasons why they vote the way they do and we can't truly understand this election unless we sit down and listen," said Deprez.

The two-week bus route from Philadelphia to Los Angeles passed through key battleground states along the way.
The two-week bus route from Philadelphia to Los Angeles passed through key battleground states along the way.
Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

Check out all of Esmé Deprez' posts at America by Bus: Understanding America's Election on a 3,000 mile Road Trip