President Donald Trump heads to Iowa a little less than two years before the election. Given the frustration among the agricultural community, however, a visit to hear their concerns may be needed.
The Wall Street Journal interviewed an Iowa farmer about Trump’s trade war that has gone on for over a year and sent waves of economic anxiety through middle-America.
“I can stand a little bit of short-term pain to get a better market for the future,” said Dave Walton, an Iowa farmer and Trump voter. “But we’re at the point now that the pain has turned to bleeding.”
The trade war in combination with a series of natural disasters is putting farmers between a rock and a hard place. Recent promises from Trump to bail out farmers if China won’t buy their crop is certainly a help for the bottom line, but if that crop then gets destroyed in the torrential rains that have plagued Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, farmers are left unsure of what to do.
Iowa is typically seen as a red state, but the president is having trouble, with approval of just 42 percent in the state, according to a Morning Consult poll. Despite the poor show in polls, Trump reportedly told his staff to lie to the media about where his poll numbers stood, The New York Times reported.
“After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win, even though he is also trailing in public polls from key states like Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania,” the newspaper said.
It may be why Trump raged at his staff, telling them to get him to the trail, long before a president typically launches a reelection campaign.
“Trump has griped about traveling too much, but then lashed out at aides, demanding to know, ‘Why am I not doing more rallies?’” the Times reported.
Trump has an 81 percent approval rating from registered Republicans in Iowa, according to a March poll. However, it’s below the national average, which puts Trump at a 90 percent approval among Republican voters.
“I don’t believe he realized on the tariffs how it would impact the economy,” said Marla Gentry of Indiana. She is among the voters searching for change in 2020.
Trump will speak in Iowa Tuesday evening, just moments after former Vice President Joe Biden takes the stage on the east side of the state.
“Iowa farmers have been crushed by his tariff war with China and no one knows better than the folks in Iowa. He thinks that being tough is great, well it’s really easy to be tough when someone else absorbs the pain: farmers, manufacturers, the automobile industry,” Biden said in a speech Tuesday.
Biden’s comments sparked a rage in the president.
Trump speaks at an Iowa Republican Party dinner at 6:30 p.m. CDT.