Politics: As Trump policies deepen farmers' pain, Democrats see an opening in rural America - - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsAs Trump policies deepen farmers' pain, Democrats see an opening in rural America

13:35  27 august  2019
13:35  27 august  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Democrats torch Trump failures on rural digital divide

Democrats torch Trump failures on rural digital divide Several presidential hopefuls are pledging tens of billions of dollars for high-speed internet access in rural America, seeking to seize on discontent among parts of Donald Trump's base.

The G.O.P. under President Trump has given liberals an opening in places like Iowa. A strong Democratic platform with realistic plans for rural America would focus on four themes: demography If Democrats are willing to listen to rural America and offer policies that address our problems, they

White Americans from rural America , with less education and lower income levels, voted disproportionately for Trump , according to the Columbia study. Pro - Trump counties also had a 7.4 percent higher age-adjusted death rate than counties won by Hillary Clinton.

(Reuters) - Seizing on mounting Farm Belt frustration with President Donald Trump's economic agenda, Democratic rivals are stepping up their push to take back part of rural America, whose overwhelming support for Trump helped propel his upset 2016 election victory.

As Trump policies deepen farmers' pain, Democrats see an opening in rural America© Reuters/Brian Snyder FILE PHOTO: 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines

The sparsely populated U.S. heartland has remained loyal to the Republican president even as farmers from Iowa to Wisconsin to Pennsylvania bear the brunt of his tariff war with China. His advisers insist Trump's projection of toughness against China will only delight, not alienate, his base.

Farm Tensions Escalate as USDA Staffer Is Threatened in Midwest

Farm Tensions Escalate as USDA Staffer Is Threatened in Midwest In a sign of rising tensions with the farm community, the Trump administration withdrew staff from a privately run tour of Midwestern corn and soybean fields after a government employee was threatened. © Bloomberg A crop scout enters a soybean field at a stop during the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour in Sheldon, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. Inconsistency is the one constant coming out of a major U.S. crop tour that kicked off on Monday as scouts get to see first hand the impact of wild weather on Midwestern corn and soybean fields.

But Trump ’s escalating trade dispute with China would hit farmers hard, giving Heitkamp and other Democrats a rare political opportunity in a region where they have While Trump ’s popularity has declined somewhat in rural America over the past year, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, it is still

“The American people want to see what this is about,” Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat Mr. Trump has called for the elimination of that tax rule. The opportunity to use Mr. Trump as a Some Republicans from rural districts have expressed concern at congressional hearings this week

Democrats seeking to face Trump in the November 2020 election challenge that presumption, pointing to farmers reeling from plunging prices and unsold crops during what is now more than a year-long trade war with China. Farmers and ethanol producers are also upset with the administration's latest decision to allow more oil refiners to skirt biofuel laws and use less corn-based ethanol.

From front-runner Joe Biden to U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, many of the more than 20 Democratic presidential candidates have highlighted the economic damage caused by Trump's trade war and biofuel waivers as the central plank of their pitches to rural America.

At various campaign stops in Iowa since June, Biden has said the trade war was "crushing" American farmers. “How many farmers across this state, across this nation, have to face the prospect of losing everything, losing their farm because of these tariffs?” Biden said in Warren County, Iowa, last week.

Democrats see opening on economy, resist cheering recession

Democrats see opening on economy, resist cheering recession PROLE, Iowa (AP) — Campaigning under the stifling August sun, Joe Biden assailed President Donald Trump's trade war with China, accusing him of squandering a strong economy and putting Americans' financial security at risk. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); But he was quick to add that he was not hoping for the worst. "I never wish for a recession. Period," the former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate told reporters in Prole, Iowa.

— As Democrats drove south from Pittsburgh's suburbs to this city for a nominating convention earlier this month, a garish billboard reminded them why they The result is a test that neither party expected: A fight in the sort of rural , conservative district that national Democrats gave up on years ago.

But Trump ’s escalating trade dispute with China would hit farmers hard, giving Heitkamp and other Democrats a rare political opportunity in a region While Trump ’s popularity has declined somewhat in rural America over the past year, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, it is still higher there than in

Biden's aides say he will make campaigning in rural areas a top priority.

"Vice President Biden will work to expand the market for ethanol and the next generation of biofuels, and will re-engage allies to negotiate trade that benefits American farmers and other workers," TJ Ducklo, a Biden spokesman, told Reuters.

In recent weeks, several other candidates, including Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, have rushed to roll out plans for rural America, touching on everything from farm subsidies to rural healthcare and broadband.

They have already been campaigning heavily in rural Iowa, the state that kicks off the party’s nominating contest in February and is the largest producer of corn and ethanol.

In the past, Democratic candidates often just paid lip service to rural voters, said former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who founded the One Country Project to help Democrats broaden their rural appeal after she lost her re-election bid last year.

Lindsey Graham: 'Accept the pain' of the U.S.-China trade war

Lindsey Graham: 'Accept the pain' of the U.S.-China trade war The senator and key Trump ally suggested China will try to drag the trade war out through the 2020 elections. “I think they’re trying to wait Trump out," Graham said. "I think they've made a calculation that our elections are right around the corner. They can play this game to 2020.” © Alex Wong/Getty Images Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of restricting his ability to head the panel by intentionally stalling committee work. Still, Graham asserted the Trump administration has the ability to pressure China, directing his comments toward the president.

But beyond Mr. Trump ’s controversial behavior, the governors said the president’s policies on issues like trade had created an opening for Democrats in Republican-leaning farm belt states like Iowa and Kansas, where farmers are facing retaliatory tariffs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin

But Matz, who is active in Democratic politics, doesn’t see Trump as a slam dunk with farmers despite their strong Republican leanings. ‘Saving a poor Georgia farmer ’. The effort to connect farmers with the Trump campaign dates to December, when Growing America , a Georgia-based farm news site

This year is different, she said in an interview.

“There’s an appreciation that we can’t continue to fail at the rate we’re failing in rural America and be successful in presidential races and Senate races," Heitkamp said.

She added: “We’re getting helped a lot by the president in this regard."

As Trump policies deepen farmers' pain, Democrats see an opening in rural America© Reuters/ERIC THAYER FILE PHOTO: 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg attends the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, said in a statement last Friday: "Between burning bridges with all of our biggest trading partners and undermining our domestic biofuels industry, President Trump is making things worse, not better."

UPHILL BATTLE

Many rural voters helped former Democratic President Barack Obama win the White House in 2008 and 2012. But they supported Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by more than 30 percentage points.

Next year is again expected to be an uphill battle for Democrats. Officials worry the party's increasingly liberal direction on immigration and other Trump-driven hot-button issues is socially and culturally at odds with rural voters.

Iowa corn farmers to Trump: The government put us in 'one hell of a bad situation'

Iowa corn farmers to Trump: The government put us in 'one hell of a bad situation' The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) blasted the Trump administration on Tuesday, saying the government has put it in "one hell of a bad situation."The trade association hammered President Trump for approving what it called 31 "unjustified" refinery waivers tied to ethanol, along with his year-plus trade war with China. Those two issues, combined with the effects of climate change, are forcing the value of Iowa corn to drop ahead of harvest season, the group said. "Agriculture is in one hell of a bad situation right now.

Democrats believe they are running a strong candidate in the special election to replace former Rep. Democrats no longer talk like that, although they remain skeptical about competing for rural votes as long as the national party moves left on abortion, environmental issues and gun rights.

Trump won 89 percent of America ’s counties that produce soy, according to an Associated Press Many Republican candidates who represent rural areas Trump won in 2016 are being forced to choose Jeff Denham has avoided the issue altogether in recent days. His opponent, Democrat and

According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted this month, five in 10 U.S. adults in rural areas approved of Trump's performance in office, higher than his 41% approval nationwide.

Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, said farmers know the trade war is a "fight worth winning."

“Farmers are patriots ... and they know the long-term benefits are going to be worth it for themselves and this nation," Murtaugh said.

The White House also unveiled a $16 billion aid package in July to help farmers hurt by the trade war and bad weather.

But Democrats point to last year's congressional elections, where the party increased its share of the vote from 2016 in at least 54 districts with large rural populations, as a sign that Trump's grip on rural America may be loosening.

Even a small erosion in Trump’s support among rural voters could make a difference in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, where Trump won by razor-thin margins in 2016, Democratic strategists say.

Trump won by a combined total of just 77,000 votes in the three states.

Priorities USA, the largest Democratic Super PAC, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a week to run digital ads in those states as well as in Florida, aimed at tying Trump’s policies to economic difficulties that many working-class people face.

Perdue to visit Illinois amid farmer anger at administration

Perdue to visit Illinois amid farmer anger at administration U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is set to visit Illinois amid rising tensions between farmers and President Donald Trump's administration. Perdue's visit on Wednesday begins in Decatur at an Ag Policy Summit hosted by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican. GOP Congressmen John Shimkus, Mike Bost and Darrin LaHood will join them. Perdue is also slated to visit the Farm Progress Show in Decatur and later tour the Melvin Price Locks and Dam Facility in Alton after a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers briefing. Perdue has sought to assuage farmers' fears of financial problems after China halted purchases of U.S.

See latest news. What happened yesterday: Trump said he can't work with Democratic leaders while they were pursuing investigations into him and his administration. Meanwhile: There are growing tensions as Pelosi toes the line between Trump and Democrats frustrated by their

Donald Trump is a horrible person. I am glad people are protesting him. But many people here do not see an alternative. The Democratic party does not care about our issues, our culture or our people. There are hundreds of towns in this country just like ours. Well, Donald Trump came and said he cared.

'FOLDED TO BIG OIL'

A round of more bad news for farmers last week, including extra tariffs Beijing announced on soybeans and other key U.S. agricultural exports, gave Democrats a fresh opening to attack Trump. [nL4N25J3C3]

After Reuters reported this month that Trump gave regulators the green light to grant exemptions to more than 30 small refineries so they can use less ethanol, Democratic candidates pounced on it as evidence Trump favors the oil industry. [L2N255189]

Klobuchar, the Minnesota lawmaker who has centered her campaign narrative on her ability to win over rural Midwestern voters, said that if elected, she would block pending refinery waiver applications and look to reverse any approved.

“He folded to Big Oil,” she told reporters on Thursday.

Murtaugh, the Trump campaign spokesman, rejected the accusation, saying the president was concerned about some “small” refineries not being able to cope with costly standards.

“As president, he must look out for the economic interests of everyone involved,” he said.

The backlash from agricultural and biofuel trade groups has been particularly strong in Iowa, a swing state won twice by Obama but that Trump carried in 2016.

“Democrats have crisscrossed Iowa. They are speaking to ethanol producers who have idled plants and talking to workers who are losing their jobs," said Patty Judge, a former Democratic lieutenant governor in Iowa and current chair of the Focus on Rural America, which advocates progressive economic policies in rural areas.

"This is an opportunity for Democrats to win back the heartland and the White House."

(Reporting by Tim Reid in Los Angeles and Joseph Ax in New York; Additional reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Chris Kahn in New York; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Peter Cooney)

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