Are Democrats risking a Rust Belt loss in 2020 by going too far left?

Reparations also appear to be an issue that plays particularly poorly in the Midwest. A 2014 YouGov poll showed that just 13 percent of Midwesterners favored paying the descendants of slaves, the lowest support of any region (albeit within the margin of error). And a 2016 Marist College poll, likewise, showed that the Midwest supported this idea less (22 percent) than other regions (26 percent in the South and Northeast, and 30 percent in the West). State-by-state data isn’t available on this question.

Anecdotally, it’s understandable why Democrats are concerned about this. They have relied on these states as their firewall in the past, and Trump breached that wall, rather unexpectedly. They have also had success with moderate, pragmatic politicians even in rural areas in these states. Democrats have won multiple special elections in tough, conservative-leaning districts in western Pennsylvania in recent years, for example. The House member in the most GOP-leaning district, meanwhile, is Democrat Collin C. Peterson (Minn.). Many of the reddest districts held by congressional Democrats are in this region.

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