By: Anna Orr, James Norman and Omar Mir
Krum, Texas, nestled just northwest of Denton, is a small town of 5,000 residents, and according to 2016 election data, a lot of Trump support.
With their precinct bringing out one of the strongest showings for Trump, there is a question that remains: does Krum feel they voted for the correct person? Would the citizens change their vote if they could do it again? And lastly, with change on the horizon, what can we expect from the town’s politics in the future?
Krum is in voter precinct 4000 in Denton County. The precinct had 1,777 voters in the 2016 election, with over 80 percent voting for the Republican ticket—17 percent higher than Denton County’s total Republican vote. Census Viewer estimates Krum has an estimated 2,077 registered voters, 58 percent of which would most likely lean Republican.
That lean comes from its agricultural past, but future growth may mean change for the small town.
Krum’s history and growth
Founded in 1887, Krum was founded as a town right off the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe railway. A town known for its wheat and cotton industry, the city has been involved in three major fires that have forced the city to restart a few times.
Krum’s location just off Interstate 35 has been able to steadily grow the town since the 1970s. While the area has a population of about 5,000 people today, there is a push in Krum that could lead to serious changes down the road. From 2000 to 2010, Krum grew by 110 percent, the fifth-highest growth rate from the period among cities with a population of 1,000 or more in 2000.
Della Davis, a 75-year-old resident and author of four books on the town, said she sees the change coming. But she doesn’t want it.
“When I grew up, there were 300 people, and you knew every one of them,” Davis said.
Davis said the people coming into Krum are younger, and like “big-time stuff.” They are changing the demographics of Krum, making it a younger place. In 2010, Krum’s median age was about 33.
While Hargis said Krum has stayed relatively stagnant, he acknowledged that Krum’s future could see new business coming in. With the economic change, many question whether Krum’s political leaning will also change.
“I want it to stay the same,” Davis said. “But it’s not going to.”
As President Donald Trump nears the famous 100-day mark, residents in Krum have high hopes for the businessman-turned-politician. Krum resident Dennis Bernhardt, a 59-year-old welder and business owner, voted for Trump in 2016 and said despite the hang-ups Trump has run into, he wouldn’t change his vote.
“I like the way things are going,” Bernhardt said. “I’m sure with anyone who’s not a politician there’s going to have to be some things he learns.”
Davis said her opinion of the president changed since he was elected and has come to think of him more positively.
“I thought he was obnoxious [before the election],” Davis said. “And I didn’t think he had the sense to run it.”
Krum’s precinct had 285 people vote Democrat. One of those residents was Doug Lewis, 39, who is the IT Manager for the Mayborn School of Journalism at UNT. Lewis voted for Hillary Clinton in the election, because he said he is “not a conservative,” and doesn’t believe Trump is qualified.
“He’s a TV celebrity,” Lewis said. “He’s a lot of ‘anti’ things that I don’t think he should be ‘anti.’”
While Lewis said he didn’t approve of how Trump behaved on the campaign trail, he decided that after Trump was elected, he would “give it the old college try” and try to accept it.
Does Krum approve of Trump’s job so far?
Bernhardt said he liked how Trump was addressing deportation, and defended the president. He didn’t believe Trump was trying pick on races, but is trying to keep the country safe.
“At this time and this world we live in, I think he’s just being cautious,” Bernhardt said.
Bernhardt did say though, despite his approval, he would like to see Trump get healthcare “straightened out,” as well as make sure our international ties are in good shape.
“Obamacare is kind of okay,” Bernhardt said. “You’re forced to pay for this insurance, but it’s not doing any good. But sick people need [it], whatever happens.”
Davis meanwhile, has grown to support Trump, and said it stems from the media and the establishment’s treatment of him.
“They’re so mean to him,” Davis said. “They don’t want him to be president. They want him fired.”
Davis added she believes the news sometimes doesn’t tell the truth about Trump. And his advisors have not been helping him.
Lewis on the other hand, said he doesn’t believe Trump is following through on his promises, or shares the same values as his voters.
Krum’s reasoning behind Trump
It wouldn’t be entirely accurate to explain away Krum’s support for Trump with the trope of a small town swinging more red than blue. Sometimes, it may not be Trump they actually support. Davis said the primary reason Krum residents didn’t vote Democrat was because of Hillary Clinton.
“If [Bernie] Sanders had run, I would have voted for him,” Davis said.
Police Chief Terry Hargis echoed a similar thought.
“People were more pro-Trump because they were more anti-Hillary,” Hargis said.
Davis explained how Krum used to be historically a Democratic town. Though, she noted how that may be changing because of the younger generation coming into town.
“They go by the person,” Davis said. “The party isn’t even considered anymore.”
Lewis also added he believes Clinton being on the Democratic ticket did drive a lot of residents to go vote for Trump. In recent history, the area has also tended to vote more Republican. Lewis speculated that it could have also come down to partisanship. Though, he does believe there has been a change in some.
“I feel like there’s been some shift,” Lewis said. “It seems like he made this whole laundry list of things he was going to do right away, and none of it really is coming to fruition.”
Featured Image: From 2000 to 2010, Krum grew by 110 percent and now has a population around 5000 people. Kelsey Shoemaker