Amid the looming threat of the trade war on the Midwest, Trump promised a whole lot of soybeans and a week-long swing through flyover country to try and shore up his base.

That isn’t exactly what he found.

An NBC/Marist poll showed the support under Trump’s feet in the Midwest is surely and swiftly eroding. Particularly in three states key to his 2016 victory: Michigan, Minnesota (which only went for Hillary Clinton by roughly 44,000 votes) and Wisconsin.

More than half of respondents in all three of those states disapprove of the President. And in those states, more than 60 percent do not think Trump deserves reelection.

Trump narrowly won Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016 and narrowly lost Minnesota. In her book What Happened, Hillary Clinton said that if only 40,000 voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania had changed their minds, Trump would not be president today.

That considered, these numbers should alarm the Trump administration.

“I think the hope was that the tough talk, even with some of our allies, would translate into real results on trade,” Aaron Heley Lehman, president of the Iowa Farmer’s Union, told Politico. “And instead, there really hasn’t been a plan. I don’t think that farmers feel like there’s a plan to get out from where they are now. I think that there’s a lot of people who feel like they’re floating out here at the whim of the tariffs and the trade talk, not knowing what direction we’re going to go.”

Being left hanging by an administration they pinned their hopes on has had a devastating effect on American farmers, a disturbing number of whom have taken their own lives recently.

The Midwest  –if fertile soil for the so-called “reluctant Trump voter” — and the dangers afforded them from trade policies make them more reluctant than ever. A discussion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe explored anecdote after anecdote of people who are comfortable with their vote for Trump in 2016 but who are wary about a reelect.

FiveThirtyEight shows a nearly ten-point lead over Republicans generally in the midterms, as well. Newsweek directly connected the new NBC/Marist polling to the lead Democrats are enjoying in these three states in the midterms.

The support the President is losing may be the support he needed most.


Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

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