The Current

Road to November takes listeners down the Mississippi River, all the way to polling day

The Current's series Road to November is a virtual trip down the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana, to meet some of the people whose lives will be shaped by the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
(Ben Shannon/CBC)

As the 2020 U.S. presidential election draws near, The Current is taking a virtual trip down the Mississippi River, from Minnesota to Louisiana, to meet some of the people whose lives will be shaped by the election, and discuss what comes next. Catch up on the series, Road to November, and all the stories below.


Chris and Shanelle Montana with their three sons, left. A fire believed to have been started by rioters caused extensive damage to the Du Nord Craft Spirits distillery in Minneapolis in May. (Submitted by Shanelle Montana, Maria Kustritz)

This Black-owned distillery raised $765K after it burned in Minneapolis protests. Now they're giving it away

Du Nord Craft Spirits was damaged in fires that spread through Minneapolis following George Floyd's death, but its owners have created an opportunity to help other local businesses in their community, and in wider Minnesota

Listen and read more here


Pastor Greg Lewis, of voting rights organization Souls to the Polls, says voter suppression is so 'extreme' in his state that it's 'frightening' for some people trying to register. (Alex Panetta/CBC)

Registering to vote like trying to 'count the bubbles in the soap' in some U.S. states: activist

Pastor Greg Lewis, of voting rights organization Souls to the Polls, says the process of registering to vote in Wisconsin is complicated and not welcoming for many people — and as a result their voices are not heard.

Listen and read more here


In 2016, many people 'voted for Donald Trump on a hope and a prayer,' says Dan Smicker, a sheep farmer, and chairman of the Clinton County Republicans. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Trump won swing state Iowa decisively in 2016. Here's how these voters feel 4 years later

Historically a swing state, Republican candidate Donald Trump won Iowa by a wide margin in 2016, but polls say it's tighter this time. 

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Dan Simmons is president of United Steel Workers Local 1899 in Granite City, Ill. He said he was initially hopeful that Republican nominee Donald Trump could revive manufacturing jobs in his state. (Lawrence Bryant/Reuters)

Made in America: How Trump and Biden's rival visions for economic recovery are resonating with Illinois voters

Over the past five years, Republican candidate Donald Trump has promised to bring jobs back to Illinois, and put the United States first. Have those promises been kept, and will workers there vote for him again?

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Jamila Brantley, right, and her mother Janette. Brantley says she doesn't believe either Donald Trump or Joe Biden 'is looking out for Black people. (Submitted by Jamila Brantley)

'You get used to being ignored' as a Black voter in the U.S., says St. Louis business owner

In Missouri, Jamila Brantley says nothing changes for her community after the votes have been cast, but she wants more Black people to get involved in politics to address that.

Listen and read more here


Greg Harbut and his horse Necker Island at Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby. (Submitted by Tara Anderson)

Activists wanted this Black race horse owner to boycott the Kentucky Derby. Here's why he said no

Greg Harbut, one of the few Black horse owners in Derby history, was asked to boycott the race in Kentucky this year amid protests about racism, and the police killing of Breonna Taylor. He explains why he refused the request.

Listen and read more here


A young voter holds a sign at a rally ahead of the 2018 midterms. Youth voting was up that year in the U.S., and one poll suggests it could be even higher this year. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

U.S. election is a 'now-or-never' moment, say young voters worried about country they'll inherit post-pandemic

In Tennessee, young voters are concerned about the country and economy they'll inherit after the pandemic, but not all agree who is the right candidate to lead the country through it.

Listen and read more here


Fredi Mendez and Kevin Cheri are both residents of Harrison, Ark., a town dubbed the most racist in the U.S. (Alice Driver; Submitted by Kevin Cheri)

Residents of the 'most racist town in America' say they're working hard to shake that reputation

A viral video from Arkansas this summer bolstered the image of Harrison as "the most racist town in America." We talk to residents who say that isn't true, and offer their views on how issues around race are playing out in the U.S. presidential election.

Listen and read more here


Farmer Victoria Darden on a boat with her Dad, and her flooded farm in 2019. (Submitted by Victoria Darden)

Devastating floods led this Mississippi farmer to a political awakening

In Rolling Fork, a town in the Mississippi Delta, last year's extensive flooding weighs heavily on farmers and the wider community, and the looming election has become a source of division.

Listen and read more here


U.S. bars and restaurants desperately need more government support as the pandemic drags on, said Chelsea O'Lansen, the marketing and sales manager for the Old Absinthe House in New Orleans, La. (Submitted by Chelsea O'Lansen)

Frustrated businesses want more COVID-19 financial help, but say 'New Orleans isn't going anywhere'

New Orleans tourism and hospitality has been hit hard by the pandemic, and some businesses say the city's landmark venues could face permanent closure if more government aid is not forthcoming.

Listen and read more here

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