A focus group of swing voters in the battleground state of Michigan told media outlet Axios that they’re sticking with Donald Trump, potentially taking Michigan out of the “swing state” category.
The voters, who were culled from a group in Saginaw, Michigan — right in the heart of the state’s rural country, in a county that went for former President Barack Obama twice but switched to President Donald Trump in 2016 — and represented a segment of “moderate Democrat” that abandoned the party when it ran Hillary Clinton, largely, it seems, over Trump’s message of economic populism.
And, Axios found, they have no plans to return to their former political home.
“Some swing voters here who voted for Barack Obama and then Donald Trump are firmly in Trump’s camp now — and they’re sick of impeachment,” Axios wrote Monday. “The two-plus hour conversation revealed major warning signs for the Democratic Party in a crucial swing county that will be a pivotal area to win in 2020.”
For starters, the voters “hate the fact that House Democrats are moving toward impeaching the president,” and prefer the President’s agenda, which they say could “actually improve their lives.” Among Trump’s proiorities, they “like preserving Social Security, cracking down on illegal immigration, and keeping jobs in the U.S.”
They also like Trump’s attitude toward the media and his critics, and believe that he’s the right man for the job if the economy suddenly takes a turn for the worse, even if Trump himself has been throwing curveballs on the issue, like starting a possible trade war with China.
Ultimately, Axios says, Michigan voters are firmly in Trump’s camp, even if they were just middling on Trump three years ago.
Although they appear to like Trump as a person — much of Trump’s attitude and character is baked into their perception of him, and little about his past or his antics comes as a surprise — part of the fault for their Trump loyalty seems to lie with Democrats whom, Axios seems to think, squandered their opportunity with these voters by focusing less on solving the nation’s problems and more on impeaching Donald Trump.
“Instead of working on policies and things that will help the people, they are just working to basically preserve their own position … [T]hey don’t really care about you and [me], I don’t think,” one focus group participant told the group.
Axios is quick to point out that Saginaw, Michigan, is not necessarily representative of swing state voters — or even Michigan voters as a whole — but the results should be concerning for Democrats nonetheless. The message swing state voters seem to be sending to the Democrats is this: your focus is on policies far too far left to resonate in the areas you need to control.
The Axios findings mirror a New York Times/Siena College poll from last month that found former Vice President Joe Biden as the only Democrat who could beat Trump in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) found themselves soundly beaten in battleground states, a result, the Times found, of their progressive platforms.