We return to the states to cover our third US Presidential Election, and this time it is Michigan that’s in the spotlight. Once thoroughly Democratic, Trump won it in 2016, and it is a crucial state for anyone hoping to win the White House. We then head to Washington DC for the final days of the campaign.

From as far out as 18 months before the presidential election Democratic hopefuls have been focusing on Michigan instead of neighbouring Ohio, the traditional bellwether state.

We’ll been looking at the get-out-the vote campaign in downtown Detroit and looking at its amazing regeneration which is ongoing, visiting working class white voters in suburban Motown, as well as meeting core Republican groups across the state who voted for Trump last time.

Michigan with its auto sector, large black population (Detroit is the US’s largest black city) used to be reliably blue. Trump changed history when here won here 2016 with a majority of just 10,704 votes. But the narrow statewide margin of his victory disguises how widespread his support was. He won 75 out of 83 counties. So while the Dems did well in Michigan in the mid-terms, they know that they can not afford to repeat Hillary Clinton’s mistakes and ignore Michigan at their peril.

DATESWednesday 28 October – Wednesday 4 November 2020
DESTINATIONDetroit, Michigan & Washington, DC
Led by US based correspondents
DURATION7 nights
INCLUDED
All AccommodationMeals and Water
Local TransportationExpert Guide
COSTCost: £4950.00
Single supplement: £750.00

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Numbers will be strictly limited on this tour so early booking is advised. Cost includes business-class train travel from New York to Washington DC.

Price: £4950.00
Single Supplement: £750.00

As with all of our expert-led tours, we ensure that our groups remain small and intimate, and will not exceed 14 people. Flights to the US aren’t included in the tour price and should be arranged by customers themselves or with an agent.

As with all of our tours the itinerary focuses on current affairs, and owing to the dynamic nature of politics means that local conditions may lead us adjust the final schedule.

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Day 1

Wednesday, 28th October: Detroit

Arrival in Detroit – Introduction to Michigan and it place on the US electoral map; why Michigan matters this time. Overnight in Detroit
Day 2

Thursday, 29th October: Detroit

We start with Motown – the legendary auto city whose fortunes has supposedly followed those of the US. As manufacturing gave way to services, Motown hollowed out leaving behind enormous great factories and empty neighbourhoods. Trump was able to win here – promising to bring back jobs. We look at the regeneration of the city. We’ll meet members of the state’s black caucus here as well. Democrat campaign managers say that if they manage to a high black turnout, Trumps campaign is lost.
Day 3

Friday, 30th October Detroit and Western Michigan – Manufacturing and Farming

The auto sector has seen a significant revival in Michigan in the last 5 years. While many jobs have gone overseas the three major auto manufacturers have reopened plants here. But it’s hard to see how this will play out. Tarrifs and the trade war with China are seen a major problem by the big three, General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. We visit a factory and speak with autoworkers. How do they see it? We then head west to rural Michigan and meet with local farmers. The state is home to one of the biggest soya bean and pork producing areas in the country. But they too have been hit by tariffs. Traditionally conservative – will they vote for Trump this time around or stay at home?
Day 4

Saturday, 31st October: Detroit & Flint

In 2016 Trump’s narrow margin of victory disguised how widespread his support was. He won 75 out of 83 counties. Suburban educated women turned away from Trump in the mid-terms. But many white voters in the Detroit suburbs stuck with him. We look at Republican campaign managers’ strategy across suburban white areas. Next we head to Flint. The scandal over the state’s attempt to save money by diverting the city’s water supplies creating an environmental catastrophe that is still playing out here – distrust in government is deep running and has affected the overall political climate across the state. Which way will that play in this election?
Day 5

Sunday, 1st November: To Washington & Virginia

We leave Detroit for Washington DC mid-morning. Upon arrival we head out to Virginia. The state is split between the Democrat leaning suburbs and more rural and white working class areas. Trump did well here in 2016 but the state elected a Democratic governor by a landslide in 2017. Campaign schedules depending, we will attend local election rallies. Overnight Washington DC
Day 6

Monday, 2nd November: Looking back at the Campaign

Political Tours has access to an array of top speakers and political leaders – the program in DC will follow political developments and meetings will be adapted accordingly:

Meetings will include a talk with one of top Republican campaign strategists for a review of the election so far. Talk with a DC Shadow Representative to the US Congress and a Democrat; Washington DC is in a unique position of not having voting rights in Congress. At George Washington University; a former Washington bureau chief, anchor and correspondent speaks the role of the media in the Presidential election. We also get a briefing on the Electoral College and its importance to campaign strategy. Visit to one of the country’s leading TV/Radio studios in DC, for their assessment of the election campaign: ABC, CNN, and NPR. Break followed by dinner. Meet in the lobby at 6:45 p.m. and walk to diner at a famous DC establishment. Overnight Washington DC.

Day 7

Tuesday, 3rd November: Polling Day

Our first meeting is with the a think tank regarded as the leading centre of expertise on campaign finance. Later we visit DC suburbs. Washington remains a city of stark contrasts with wealthy and poor areas– we look at the get out to vote campaigns and see who is at the polling stations. We visit Anacostia, Ward 8, which is predominantly African-American. With a long night ahead there is a chance to have a rest at the hotel before dinner. It could also be an opportunity to see some of Washington’s top political sights. At 6.30 p.m. we depart for the Election Night Watch Party with dinner. Overnight Washington DC
Day 8

Wednesday, 4th November: The Day After

We review the night results over breakfast. Followed by check out and farewells.

Tour Ends



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What’s Included

All of your accommodation and meals with water are included, as well as local transport (except during your free time).

Flights are not included in the price and need to be arranged by customers themselves or with an agent.

Following the news

Like all our tours the itinerary is focused on current affairs. Events on the ground may change and the final schedule may be adjusted accordingly.

Group size

As on all our expert-led tours the groups are deliberately small and will not exceed 14 people. Frequently we travel with 10-12 people. Limited spaces are available.

Visas

The United States runs a visa waiver system for the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (ESTA or ETA). Candadians are exempt from visa requirements. It is always good to check with the embassy in your country for latest advice regarding visa requirements. Travellers from most countries will need to register online with the department of homeland security before you travel. Please get in touch and let us know what passport you are travelling on so we can help advise you on any visas you may require.

Travellers who have previously been to Iran are now required to get a tourist visa for the United States.

Weather

This is autumn/fall in the mid-west and the weather is likely to be mixed.

Dress

Wear layers for warmth, carry waterproof overcoats and wear comfortable footwear.

Secondly we have a range of meeting with politicians or senior officials where we are expected to be more formally dressed, notably at the UN in New York and for think tanks and office in Washington DC. We will advise you on a day-by-day basis on which meetings are coming up.

Men: Will need a jacket for some of the meetings.

Women: The female equivalent; jacket or blouse.

Currency

US dollar

Electricity

Plugs are North American 2 flat pin and 110v

FCO Website

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes regularly updated travel information on its website www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. Where it considers it appropriate to do so, the FCO may advise against all travel or all but essential travel to particular countries or parts of particular countries. Similarly, the FCO may withdraw any such previously given advice. Where the FCO issues such advice, we may as a result cancel your tour or make changes so as to avoid the area concerned (see clause 10). Alternatively, we may ask you to sign a form confirming you wish to proceed with the tour notwithstanding the FCO advice. It is in the nature of the itineraries we offer that the FCO may have issued such advice in relation to the country or parts of the country we are intending to visit prior to confirmation of your booking. In this case, you will be asked to sign the above form before we confirm your booking.

Medical Requirements

Advice on health requirements may be obtained from your GP, or alternatively from the Department of Health leaflet Advice on Health for Travelers, or the Department of Health in the UK. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx

We suggest you visit your own doctor or local travel clinic who will have the most up-to-date travel advice, and be able to recommend any vaccinations prior to travel based on your medical history.

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On all of our tours you are accompanied by a leading political journalist or academic. Together with your tour expert you will meet a range of speakers, analysts and ordinary people with a huge range of views and experiences.

The overall aim is to give you a nuanced and comprehensive overview of the country you are in, and an exceptional one at that.

Don’t just take our word for it …

“The main reason to travel really is the “being there” factor – the experience of seeing the reality for ourselves is what made the difference and gave us a context for the valuable inputs from the experts and propagandists we met. The tour’s openness to some unscheduled encounters with “ordinary” people on both sides provided further insight. I ended more sympathetic to them than I had been – and far less sympathetic to their leaderships.” AR

“The access you obtained was outstanding – really amazing.” AN

“It is a short but thorough exam of what makes a country tick – or not tick. An immersion class into the nuts and bolts of the area. I love it.” JG

“It sounds like a cliché, but the tours really take you beyond and behind the headlines, providing you with unexpectedly profound insights about the country.” EL

“To see so much and meet with so many people in so short a time, and to absorb so much information in depth, was very stimulating.” PF

In the Press:

“Who better to take people behind the headlines than the person who spent ten years writing them?” British Airways Highlife Magazine

“I had underestimated their high-mindedness… During the week-long tour there are talks and conversations with more then 20 guest speakers. The holiday makers are an equally impressive bunch.” The Financial Times, on a tour

“An eye-opening 10 days!” Sydney Morning Herald

Email us for a full list of speakers and meetings on this tour: [email protected] or call and ask to be put through to one of our staff.

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US Elections

Please see feedback below from our US election tour from 2016.

“If it was a film we’d have ended watching from behind the sofa.  Tremendously informative and (despite the result) fun tour.”  US Elections, 2016

“The quality and variety of experts was excellent.” US Elections, 2016

“The speakers were a particular feature of this tour, and clearly much thought and effort had been put into selecting and engaging people from a variety of backgrounds. I doubt if this could have been improved upon and it was a privilege to meet them all.”  CB, US Elections, 2016

“We’ve done a variety of group tours before. This was the best we’ve been on, both in terms of content and company.” CR, US Elections, 2016

“The highlight of the tour was the Trump rally, because it overturned all preconceptions about those who would vote for Trump. We should have realised that the fact that his appeal was so wide would be very bad news for the Democrats. As with Brexit the volume of discontent with those in power would mean people would vote for anything or anybody who promised change.” SR, US Elections, 2016

“A sociological and political eye opener of a tour.” VH, US Elections, 2016

“I have been on a few tours before, but not one of them compared with this one. This was by far the best. Of course, the material content, and the time and place of its setting had a lot to do with it, but there were other factors. The size and mix of each group was about right, and having both yourself, and a local expert with us was a big advantage, able to sort out en route problems too, and help set the tone and atmosphere. The tour itinerary was very detailed, and could hardly have been more so.” CB, US Elections, 2016

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