Trump Support Among Farmers Surges, Dealing Major Blow to 2020 Democrats
New data shows support growing for the president in America's farm country
As the Democratic presidential nomination field continues to thin, the remaining Democrats will be eyeing any opportunities to steal votes away from President Donald Trump in next year's election.
With farmers being hit among the hardest by Trump's escalating trade war with China, 2020 Dems are undoubtedly seeing America's farm country as an opportunity to capitalize on the president's possible loss in support.
While Democratic candidates are dropping from the race like flies, favorites Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders will surely be looking forward to possibly going head-to-head with the president.
Setting their sights on stealing support from American farmers would make sense in the current atmosphere.
A new report from Farm Futures will deal a hefty blow to any such strategy, however.
New figures show President Trump support among America's farmers is surging.
The report shows that Trump’s support among farmers is growing over last year, with over two-thirds now saying they would back him for reelection.
According to Bloomberg, a survey of 1,150 growers conducted by Farm Futures in late July and early August shows that support for Trump is up to 67 percent, compared to just under 60 percent last year.
Still, growers backing Trump believe something needs to be done about the U.S. trade deficit even if the outcome is bad for agriculture in the short term said Farm Futures Executive Editor Mike Wilson.
Regardless of their hardships, most of America’s farmers would vote for Trump again in a heartbeat.
“I don’t like it, but I understand the need to get a better deal for the U.S.,” Brad Nelson, who farms 1,200 acres (487 hectares) in southern Minnesota, said in an interview during the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour last week.
“The Chinese are always coming up with excuses not to import U.S. corn, DDGs, ethanol.
"When they do that to us, I understand the need to work on changes.”
Growers who were already suffering from years of depressed prices are now contending with the fallout from the trade war.
Demand for ethanol has also slumped, with many agricultural groups pointing to waivers the Trump administration has granted to 31 oil refiners.
That’s adding to stress as farm debt is expected to rise 3.9% this year to $427 billion.
In 2018, farm debt-to-income was at the highest level since 1984, in the midst of the farm crisis.
To ease the blow, the Trump administration had pledged about $28 billion in aid.
Only 6% of the farmers who voted for Trump said they wouldn’t back him if the elections were held today, according to the survey, released Thursday at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.
The president’s status also grew among those who didn’t support him, with 2 percent of the voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 saying they’d vote for Trump.
“My support for the administration goes beyond issues with agriculture,” Nelson said, citing policies in the areas of health care, immigration and education.
Roger Cerven, who farms 2,200 acres with his son in Iowa, also points to issues beyond agriculture for his support.
“I’m not in favor of everyone going to college for free, or getting health care for free,” he said during the crop tour.
“Someone has to pay the bill.”