Many Lordstown residents recalled that Mr. Trump had promoted steel tariffs and his trade savvy as a way to create jobs. But while critics faulted the president for failing to deliver what he promised, a number of workers were quick to exonerate him.
Some portrayed him as well intentioned but simply outgunned by larger economic forces. Others suggested that whatever Mr. Trump’s flaws, they paled in comparison to those of General Motors, which they considered the real culprit.
“I believe that if there’s tariffs or not, G.M. will continue to take our cars out of this country because it’s cheaper to do it and ship it back,” said Ms. Olesky, a Trump supporter.
Beyond the roughly 1,600 jobs that are likely to be lost at the plant, there are a few dozen suppliers employing thousands of workers in the region, along with businesses here in the Mahoning Valley that will be hit hard by the loss of customers.