We are so partisanized and balkanized as a country that pretty much nothing will change people’s opinions about Putin’s puppet in the White House. Not even economic devastation will move the needle.
Witness South Dakota. “South Dakota has been devastated by the trade wars that are going on,” said Kristi Noem, the state’s Republican governor. “Farmers are used to risk, they’re used to prices going up and down and having that, but this sustained low commodity prices, frankly, is driving a lot of family businesses out of business.”
With China now threatening to cut off all agricultural purchases, the pain is only going to increase. And the source of that pain is clear—a bumbling Trump administration that can’t muzzle Trump’s Twitter account, making it impossible to conduct actual diplomacy and negotiations. But do South Dakota residents care?
They don’t care. They’ll march off a cliff for Trump. So just a regular reminder—we won’t win in 2020 by trying to appeal to people utterly lost in Fox News land. We will win by turning out our core base demographics—young voters, voters of color, and women.
There is one exception to “farm country loves Trump.” Can you spot it?
Iowa Democrats were competitive in 2018, picking up three of four House seats (and losing that fourth one narrowly), picking up the auditor’s seat, and holding the treasurer and attorney general seats. They came up just short in the governor’s, secretary of state’s, and agricultural commissioner’s races. Everything was close. Iowa has become a rare outlier in American politics: a nearly all-white (91%!) battleground state.
But even there, the trade war doesn’t appear to be having an effect on Trump’s numbers, despite the devastating effects it’s having in the state:
Public opinion is locked in. No one will be changing their mind in the next year and a half.