Michigan, A State Integral To Trump’s Re-Election, Has 23% Unemployment
According to Newsweek, the coronavirus outbreak has shifted the central argument of President Trump’s re-election campaign, which used to be the economy. High unemployment rates and overall financial damage could hurt Trump’s chances in key swing states, like Michigan.
- Michigan reported a 23 percent unemployment rate in April, and more than 80 percent of businesses reported decreased revenues, Newsweek wrote.
Adrian Hemond, a Democratic strategist in Lansing, Michigan, wrote that “until a few months ago, the economy was going to be what the president was running for re-election on in Michigan and across the country. Now, the central argument of the Trump re-election as his campaign team envisioned it doesn't exist anymore."
- Heading into the November election, Michigan seems to be “the president’s weakest link,” with one of the bad signs being that “some of the counties critical to his triumph in the state in 2016 are experiencing high unemployment rates amid the pandemic,” reported Newsweek.
"If someone promised you the economy was going to grow and all of a sudden you're struggling to put food on the table, to find a job or to get work hours back, it's going to be a tough challenge," said Dennis Darnoi, a Republican strategist and founder of Densar Consulting in Michigan.
- Darnoi added that former Vice President Joe Biden will perform better in Michigan.
Polls show the Democratic candidate with a lead in Michigan, and Trump may struggle in other key swing states as well.
- According to Newsweek, a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in April showed that Biden was ahead by 8 points.
- Unemployment rates are high and small businesses have been hit the hardest in key swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, according to the US Census Bureau survey.
Due to the outbreak’s huge impact on the economy, Trump has been pushing for the reopening of businesses to get Americans back to work, against health experts’ suggestions.
- After the loss of 20 million jobs and the highest unemployment rate (14.7 percent) since the Great Depression, Trump told Fox News, “What I can do: I’ll bring it back. It’s fully expected.”
- During his Pennsylvania visit last week, Trump called his plan the “ ‘transition to greatness.’ The transition is the third quarter. The fourth quarter is going to do very well. And next year is going to be through the roof.”
However, strategists say that Trump’s pandemic response has undermined the trust that Americans have in his promise for economic recovery.
"I don't know how much resonance that message is going to have," stated Darnoi, the Republican strategist from Michigan. "I think a lot of people are going to look at how he handled the virus and that's going to color their ability to trust that he can rebuild this economy."