Farmers Helped Elect Trump, But Trade Wars Erode Their Support

Farm Journal’s survey found that only 52% of farmer voters find Trump favorable. Another 5% have no opinion and the remaining 43% find him unfavorable. ( Wikimedia )

Almost 70% of farmers voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, yet the latest Farm Journal Research survey shows only 56% would vote for him again and 41% view him unfavorably, while 35%—whether judging him favorable or unfavorable overall—view him “less favorably” than they did before the trade wars. That’s because the trade wars strike the balance sheets of farmers who are already fighting through the fourth year of tough times—with no relief on the horizon.

This research, which captured sentiments of 2,300 farmers, shines a bright light on facts that contradict mainstream reports that “farmers remain with Trump for now” as recently proclaimed by Bloomberg. That said, Farm Journal’s survey found that only 52% of farmer voters find Trump favorable. Another 5% have no opinion and the remaining 43% find him unfavorable. Similarly, 54% of the farmers surveyed would vote to re-elect him. All presidents take heat for their actions, although not since Jimmy Carter has a president challenged trade and eroded support with the same magnitude.

Here’s a shocker: Young farmers are much more bullish on Trump than older farmers: 61% of farmers under 45 years old favor Trump versus only 40% of farmers 65+ years old. At the same time, 45% of farmers 65+ years old are even less favorable toward Trump since the trade wars started, compared to only 31% of young farmers less favorable. 

The survey, conducted the week of Aug. 6, found only 43% of all farmers 65+ would vote for Trump in the next election, while 64% of farmers under 45 years old would still vote for Trump. 

The comments submitted with the research were particularly interesting. Here’s a sample: 

“Someone has to take on the leeches of the world,” one farmer respondent said. “Too bad farmers are the pawns on the chess board!”

Another said, “A country cannot have a negative trade balance forever.”

Related specifically to tariffs, one farmer said, “He is destroying markets for ag products that took decades to build and which we may never get back.”

Many respondents made comments along the lines of, “He is doing what he said he would do.”

Still others aren’t convinced. 

“He has lost the confidence of the American farmer—no matter what party you are with,” one farmer said. 

Another said, “Best president in modern history.”

As you can imagine, feelings are strong coming from both sides. 

 

Have your feelings about Trump changed? If so, let us know. Comment below, or send me an email at alaca@farmjournal.com

 
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