The latest escalation in President Donald Trump’s trade war threatens to upend the midterms after putting some of his most loyal supporters in the cross-hairs of China’s retaliatory tariffs.
Consider North Dakota, where Republican Kevin Cramer is seeking to unseat North Dakota’s Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in a state where Trump pulled 63 percent of the vote and carried 51 of 53 counties. While many congressional Republicans from agricultural states, including Speaker Paul Ryan, have voiced frustration with Trump’s trade tactics, Cramer is betting the farm on the president.
Cramer, echoing Trump, has said confronting China on trade will benefit farmers. Cramer organized an August town hall where Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told farm leaders in the state to trust Trump on trade and look for the long-term result rather than focusing on short-term pains. Trump’s administration, meanwhile, has rolled out a rescue plan for farmers and warned China against retaliating further on agriculture — his voters, largely.
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