Miner Ryan Barnette, 34, works in Gary, West Virginia.

    Feeling helpless in WV: 'We are the forgotten tribe'

    By Jeff Simon, Producer
    McDowell County, West Virginia is one of the poorest in the country -- it's also where Donald Trump scored his biggest primary victory nationwide. We try to understand this place, and its people.


    Jeff Simon is a producer for CNN covering the intersection of politics and life in America. Simon's work at CNN includes coverage of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, where he was part of a team awarded an Emmy in 2013 for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story in Long Form.

    Simon started at CNN one day before the 2008 Iowa caucuses and produced work for "State of the Union" and the CNN Political Ticker.

    He worked as a political producer for The Washington Post before returning to join the CNN Digital Politics team.

    A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, Simon is a frustrated Philadelphia Phillies fan and collects vintage wristwatches. He graduated cum laude from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.