The U.S. is just days away from its midterm elections that could shift political power in Washington.
For CGTN’s special coverage, Nathan King traveled across several key states in the upcoming elections, to find out where voters stand on major issues- including trade and the economy, immigration and the increase of divisive politics.
Five states in ten days, including the three that critically sealed the presidency for Donald Trump: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
First Illinois, where trade tariffs are on farmer Ralph Coffman’s mind as he brings in the soybean harvest. Now that the market to China has collapsed, he may not be planting them anymore
“We might give up on soybeans yeah. If we don’t see a market improvement in the price. If we got some other countries to come in and replace China that would help the market and move some of these beans out- but there’s just too many soybeans,” Coffman said.
In Wisconsin the sitting senator, Tammy Baldwin tells CGTN reciprocal tariffs from Mexico and China are killing the state’s dairy industry.
“Mexico was 25 percent of the export market for cheese. That has gone away.” Said Senator Baldwin.
In Michigan, auto worker and staunch Republican Brian Pannebecker backs the US President and the trade wars he has started.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had leadership who would go toe-to-toe with our trading partners, making sure we are getting fair deals to try and keep our jobs here so we can export our products that we built to other countries,” Pannebecker said.
Immigration is on minds in this growing Hispanic community in Abbotsford, Wisconsin – thriving, though a recent immigration raid worried many.
And in Pennsylvania, the former mayor of a fading steel town, Monessen is angry that despite a visit by then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016, his community is still dying.
“Nobody’s done a damn thing. It doesn’t make any difference whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, the two-party system doesn’t work for communities like this.” Said Mavrakis.
A tragedy unfolded in Pittsburgh on October 27th. Eleven were killed at a synagogue shooting in the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill. Gun violence, and hate crimes become election issues once again.
What effect the tragedy in Pittsburgh will have on the midterm elections remains to be seen but what is clear is that aside from the issues, the rhetoric in America has never been more divided.