The Industrial Midwest was always going to be a battleground in November. The region is now becoming a new front line for Americans' lives and livelihoods as coronavirus hot spots proliferate and jobless rates spiral. The confluence of a ferocious pandemic, deepening economic turmoil and rising political tensions is more pronounced here than anywhere else in the country. And it sets the stage for a combustible campaign season that is testing President Donald Trump's efforts to move on and insulate himself from the crisis--and Joe Biden's ability to blame him for the fallout. ... In her conversations with constituents, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) says they now recognize Trump's role in a string of earlier economic setbacks, which have been compounded by the virus. "They are very clear about what those missteps are and, frankly, they are angry," Baldwin said. Experts warn the data of recent job losses is likely still an undercount, given the widespread issues states have had in processing unemployment claims and the fact that self-employed and other newly eligible workers have faced delays in being able to successfully claim aid. Trump aides and allies are primarily focused on changing the subject from the pandemic and ensuing economic devastation -- highlighting Biden's vulnerabilities in the region rather than defending the administration's response. In interviews, they critiqued Biden's embrace of environmental policies like the Green New Deal and past trade pacts like NAFTA. A Trump campaign aide suggested Biden himself is susceptible on health care, arguing his "public option" proposal would crowd out private insurance and drive rural hospitals out of business.

Comments: Be the first to add a comment

add a comment | go to forum thread