Biggest farmers stand solidly with Trump, poll shows

Source: By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming • Posted: Monday, September 7, 2020

Trump won the rural vote two to one in 2016.

Large-scale farmers and ranchers say they will vote in landslide numbers for President Trump this fall, applauding his handling of agriculture and foreign policy, said a Farm Futures poll released on Wednesday. Some 75% of respondents to the nationwide email poll conducted in late July said they would vote for Trump, roughly the same proportion that backed him in 2016.

“Farmers may not have known what they were getting with Trump four years ago, but I think our survey confirms they’ve found comfort in what they received,” said Jacqui Fatka, policy editor for Farm Futures, which directs its coverage toward the biggest agricultural producers in the country. Farmers are a sliver of the U.S. population but their views often reflect rural sentiment. Trump won the rural vote two to one in 2016.

Producers worry about the pandemic and the China-U.S. trade war, but those issues are secondary to matters such as regulatory relief under Trump, said the news site. In 2016, Trump ran on an agriculture platform of tax cuts, regulatory rollbacks and support for corn ethanol. Two-thirds of farmers taking part in the Farm Futures poll gave the president an “A” or a “B” for his handling of agriculture and 63% gave him similar high marks on foreign policy. In a March survey by Farm Futures, 76% agreed with the statement, “President Trump’s tariffs will be worth it in the long run.”

China has been an active buyer of U.S. farm exports since mid-July, raising hopes of a boost in farm income. Ag exports slumped following the start of the trade war in mid-2018 but are forecast to rise by 4% in the year ahead, with China buying more American soybeans, corn, sorghum, and nuts, forecast the USDA last week.

By large margins, producers said their vote for president would not be influenced by “the political leadership’s handling of COVID-19” or the economic impact of the pandemic.