Trump facing 2020 nightmare as coronavirus wrecks the economy worst in the states he needs most for re-election

States that helped elect President Donald Trump win the 2016 election are hemorrhaging jobs at some of the highest rates in the country -- putting his re-election in grave doubt.


More than one in four Michigan workers have applied for unemployment benefits since stay-at-home orders went into effect to fight the coronavirus, and nearly the same rate have lost their jobs in Pennsylvania, reported Politico.

Ohio has seen more than 17 percent of its workers file jobless claims, ahead of the 16.1 percent national average, and so is Minnesota, which Trump narrowly lost.

Wisconsin is the only major battleground state with jobless claims above the national average, but the state has still been hard hit by the coronavirus recession with one in eight workers seeking unemployment benefits.

“The economy is in a freefall now," said Lavora Barnes, chair of Michigan's Democratic Party, "and I don’t think it had to be this bad.”

The jobless claims are expected to continue rising for weeks as states work to catch up on mountains of applications, and they're not expected to start going back down until restaurants and other non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen -- and customers feel safe enough to return.

The recovery could be delayed by months or even years, which strips Trump of the economic message he hoped to carry into the 2020 election.

“It’s really rare for an incumbent administration to get positive credit for bad times,” said Charles Franklin, a pollster and professor at Marquette Law School. “The longer this crisis lasts, the more difficult that is for the Trump administration to deal with.”

Laid-off workers are encountering baked-in problems with Florida's unemployment system, and Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state GOP leaders have shouldered the blame as the state lags behind the national average for delivering benefits.

“It’s the most consistently negative aspect of this whole situation in Florida, the unemployment benefits system not working,” said political analyst Susan MacManus, former chair of the Florida Elections Commission. “If you’re a single parent, if you’re a head of a household, you’re not going to forget this.”