(WISCONSIN) — On the day of Trump’s visit to Marinette for a photo-op, The Washington Post published an expansive look at how Trump’s policy decisions and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic have hurt his standing with voters across the Badger state. This includes his trade wars that have destroyed Wisconsin’s farming communities and manufacturing sector. The story also notes how key areas across the state that Trump carried in 2016 slipped away from him in the 2018 midterms.
KEY POINTS BELOW:
- In the western part of Wisconsin, farmers have been hammered by a crisis in the dairy industry exacerbated by Trump’s trade war and have shown signs of leaning toward Democrats.
- Trump has, thus far, fallen far short of his promises to rebuild the Rust Belt’s manufacturing base.
- Unemployment has skyrocketed in Wisconsin to 12 percent amid a similar rise in the rest of the country due to the pandemic.
- Black voters in Milwaukee particularly hurt by the economic downturn are expected to turn out in more substantial numbers than they did in 2016.
- A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday found Biden up 8 points in Wisconsin.
- In 2018, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) successfully flipped the heavily agricultural western part of the state hurt by Trump’s trade war into the Democratic column.
- Baldwin also performed better than Clinton in the wealthier suburbs surrounding Wisconsin’s cities.
- Jeager and other Democrats believe Trump is overstating his role in securing the deals. Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, including Baldwin, have for years fought for long-term contracts for the shipyard.
- More than 2,000 of Wisconsin’s 9,000 dairy farms went out of business during the first three years of Trump’s administration, a record since the 1980′s, according to Darin Von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. The state is on pace for a similar if not greater number this year.
- Farmers have grown suspicious of Trump’s promises that China will soon be buying large amounts of agricultural products from the Midwest as part of the “phase one” trade deal signed in January.
- “There was a lot of hope among independent farmers in 2016 that Trump would change the system, or bring around changes that would be positive,” Von Ruden said. “Trump many times has said, ‘We’re over the hump,’ or, ‘The worst is behind us,’ and it has not been true. So there are a lot of farmers who are skeptical now of what he is saying or what he will do.”
- The president has also fallen short of achieving his promises to rebuild the Rust Belt’s manufacturing base, even before the pandemic hit.
- More than 2,000 people were granted assistance for federal retraining programs because their jobs had been outsourced from Wisconsin in 2017 and 2018, according to federal data, a small decline from the end of the Obama administration. That number likely represents a small fraction of total jobs lost to outsourcing in the state, because many workers don’t know about the program.
- Manufacturing employment in Wisconsin at no point in Trump’s presidency has recovered to its levels before the Great Recession. This May, manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin fell sharply to 2009 levels.
- Trump has also lavished praise in 2018 on Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer in southeastern Wisconsin, as the “eighth wonder of the world” and said it would revitalize the region. CNBC reported in April that the company has missed the hiring requirements necessary to qualify for millions in state subsidies.
- The Wisconsin Economic Forecast, a state report, said Wednesday it could take the state two years for the state to recover to pre-COVID employment levels, with personal income growth projected to fade dramatically this year and next.