The rural vote was crucial to Trump flipping the state. Farmers are used to battling acts of God, like the floods that have hit the Midwest this year, but not coping with a capricious act of man that has cut soybeans prices by 50 percent since 2014, costing Iowa farmers an estimated $2.2 billion, according to Iowa State University, and farmers nationally $10 billion, according to the American Farm Bureau. Farmers stay up nights wrestling with whether to give up on soybeans and plant something else, knowing that the something else could well be targeted later, should the mood strike Trump.
And $15 billion in budget-busting subsidies don’t begin to make up for the catastrophe, monetary and emotional. The Washington Post spent a day with Ray Martinmaas, whose family has farmed since 1888. He lost $700,000 last year and said farmers are “bearing the brunt” of Trump’s folly. “People are starting to say ‘I don’t know how we’re going to survive this.’” Martinmaas voted for Trump and is now open to a Democrat for president in 2020.