US farmers struggling from trade war still back Trump and his party

World Today

The U.S. midterm elections are just days away. One of the keys to Donald Trump’s 2016 victory was the support he received from farmers.

Since then, they’ve been caught in the crossfire of the trade war with China, but they’re sticking with Trump and his governing Republican Party.

CGTN’s Dan Williams reports from Iowa.

Ron Heck is a sixth generation farmer in Perry, Iowa.

He says times are tough in the industry, but he remains loyal to Trump and the current trade direction. “It’s a blessing to me that we have a president that talks about agriculture and wants to do something to represent us. Trump is handling the situation as a businessman and we’re all businessmen. So we all understand what he is doing and why he is doing it.”

Iowa’s politics have shifted in recent years. Democrat Barack Obama claimed victory here in 2008 and 2012. Since then, not only did Donald Trump win the Presidential contest in 2016, but Iowa flipped its second Senate seat Republican, upped its Republican House seats to three out of four, and maintained a Republican hold on the governor’s office.

Dave Struthers is a farmer in Maxwell. He does not yet see a compelling reason to change path. “I really want to see some plans,” he said. “If someone else has a plan that is a really good plan that sounds workable to me, then I may follow that. But I want to give it time and I haven’t heard from anyone. I’ve just heard name calling and finger pointing.”

But Democrats are attempting to claw back ground – with Former Vice President Joe Biden joining the campaign trail.

Brianne Pfannenstiel is the Des Moines Register’s Chief Politics Reporter. She predicts there will be some wins across the state for Democrats, but support among farmers remains with the Republicans.

“So right now, farmers are saying that they are willing to stick with the President, they are willing to wait it out,” she explained. “They are going to feel short term pain but eventually it is going to pay off for them.”

But others, including Democrat supporter Kelly Broussard, see many in the state running out of patience. “A lot of people were hoping that Trump would bring positivity to the farming industry. But I think now they are seeing with the tariffs and things that maybe crops are not making as much as they had planned. And I think that people overall are not happy with the direction of our nation.”

For most farmers across Iowa, the focus now is on the crucial harvest period. But politically, the spotlight is on the state and whether there will be a sign of change.

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