U.S. President Donald Trump is failing his base. Despite his endless promises of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” there has been no major turnaround in the distribution of new jobs in the United States. More job growth is still happening in Democrat-majority areas than in Republican-majority ones, according to a new report from the Associated Press.
An average of 58.5 percent of the jobs gains during the year that ended in May were in counties that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election.
Not only are most of the new jobs going to Clinton counties, but more Trump counties than Clinton ones are recording jobs losses. Although only 19.2 percent of counties that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 have recorded such losses, a whopping 35.4 percent of counties that went to Trump have.
Considering the president’s current trade policy direction, those numbers might get even worse. He has infamously imposed steep tariffs on an array of imported goods including steel and aluminum, tacking a 25 percent import tax on steel and a 10 percent import tax on aluminum.
Those taxes have all by themselves threatened American business. The Washington Post highlights the story of Stripmatic Products and its owner Bill Adler, who had to back out of a bid for a major manufacturing contract because the Trump administration’s tariffs made his costs spike too high.
Now, Adler says, “only half-joking”:
‘It’s got to be short-term, or I’ve got to find another way to make a living. It’s going to be an ugly scenario if it doesn’t end quickly.’
Adler’s business is situated in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which Hillary Clinton won. However, his story isn’t the only one of its kind.
Farmers outside of major metropolitan areas that often lean Democratic are also feeling the heat from the president’s tariffs. They are themselves most threatened by other countries’ responses. For instance, in North Dakota, where Donald Trump won all but two counties in 2016 and carried the state overall by a significant margin, soybean producers have faced the cancellation of all standing Chinese orders for specialty food-grade soybeans, a loss valued at some $1.2 to $1.5 million.
Even still, some Trump supporters are sticking by him. The Associated Press talked to a local GOP leader in the struggling locale of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, who said that local Republicans were more concerned about protecting gun rights than anything else.
County Republican chairman Chip Kohser explained:
‘Our No. 1 motivating factor is Second Amendment issues.’
Kohser’s county is shrinking, losing jobs at a brisk rate and workers at an even faster one, but he still maintains that Democratic efforts to curtail gun violence in the United States are more motivating for local Republicans than economic issues.
That sentiment is repeated across the United States, according to data from the Pew Research Center. The organization found that while pre-eminent concern with economic issues fell to its lowest level in more than eight years, the number of people who view their midterm vote as a direct referendum on the president spiked to its highest level since it began being recorded in 2006.
On the side opposite Kohser, Democratic voters are gearing up to take on Trump and the GOP agenda come the midterms later this year. Polling suggests that while Republican voters zero in on ideological issues, left wing real world messaging will prevail and see the Democrats take control of one if not both houses of Congress come 2019.
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