Trump and his party may already be experiencing early tremors. While it doesn’t get much attention, the president’s net approval rating in Morning Consult’s monthly surveys has fallen almost as much in deep-red, agriculture-heavy states such as Kentucky (down 21 percent), Montana (21 percent), and Oklahoma (25 percent), as it has in the bright-blue coastal states of California (15 percent), Rhode Island (21 percent), and Massachusetts (22 percent). “Trump is underperforming in ag states,” says Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate and governor races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “In places like North Dakota and Nebraska, which he won by double-digit margin, he’s now barely above 50 percent approval, and in Iowa, which he won by 9 points, he’s well below that, at 44 percent.”
Economists warn that Trump’s trade war will cause prices to rise for U.S. consumers and hurt U.S. companies that import intermediate goods such as semiconductors. But while the macro effect of the new foreign tariffs so far looks to be limited, their impact will be keenly felt by specific industries and businesses around the country, many of them large employers critical to state economies, and as a result will be certain to cause political disruption.
That spells trouble in the Farm Belt, where agricultural staples have been hit by tariffs. U.S. farmers are already dealing with lower prices for corn and wheat.