A few days after her comments, US Census figures confirmed that her state did indeed have the highest proportion of mobile homes - also known as trailers or manufactured housing - though the figure is closer to 18% than 20%.
Mobile homes have a huge image problem in the US, where in many minds they are shorthand for poverty. But how accurate is this perception?
Comparing the top 10 mobile home states with the 10 most deprived states suggests a loose correlation. South Carolina is not among the 10 poorest by income, but there are eight states, all southern, that appear in both lists.
“In the Great Depression in the 1930s, people started living in trailers which were designed for travelling and vacationing but out of necessity, people started to make these tiny mobile units their homes,” says Andrew Hurley, author of Diners, Bowling Alleys and Trailer Parks.
“They started parking them on the outskirts of cities and that’s when they become associated with working class and impoverished people.”
There was institutionalised discrimination, he says, as federal-backed mortgages were denied to owners of mobile homes, while zoning laws forced these communities to the very outskirts of towns and cities.
The 40s and 50s were their heyday, helped by the innovation of “double-wides”, which meant they came in two separate units and formed a larger home.
Bob Moore began photographing abandoned trailers 30 years ago, having lived in mobile homes for much of his life. This one in Yucca Valley, California, made the front of his book, Trailer Trash.
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