In America's 'Rust Belt,' more voters
trust Clinton on trade: Reuters/Ipsos poll
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[November 03, 2016]
By Ginger Gibson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican
presidential nominee Donald Trump's promise to restore American jobs by
renegotiating international trade deals appears to be failing him in
states most affected by outsourcing, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Voters in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania - three competitive states in
the Nov. 8 election that form the bulk of a region dubbed the Rust Belt
for its swaths of shuttered factories - favor Trump's Democratic rival,
Hillary Clinton, on the issue of trade, according to the polling, with
some respondents citing how international trade can bring down prices.
The results underscore the uphill battle the New York businessman faces
on Election Day, when he needs to sweep a broad array of battleground
states to win the White House.
"Trump has made a strong effort to portray Clinton as favorable to trade
policies that he has labeled 'a disaster' for the United States," said
Thomas Nelson, a political science professor at Ohio State University.
In the automaking state of Michigan, which has voted reliably for
Democratic candidates in recent presidential elections but which Trump
has fought hard to win, some 40 percent of likely voters believed
Clinton would be better equipped to address trade, compared with 36
percent for Trump.
In Ohio, known for its aerospace, steel and rubber industries, 45
percent said Clinton would be better on trade, compared with 38 percent
for Trump. In Pennsylvania, long a steel and heavy manufacturing center,
45 percent favored Clinton on trade, compared with 38 percent for Trump,
according to the polling, conducted in mid-October.
Clinton is leading Trump in all three states among likely voters, with
advantages of 4 points in Michigan, 3 points in Ohio and 6 points in
Pennsylvania, according to the Reuters/Ipsos polling.
But other polls show the race tightening in those states.
RealClearPolitics, which averages data from most major polls, shows
Clinton leading Trump by 6.6 points in Michigan and 5.1 points in
Pennsylvania, and Trump leading Clinton by 2.7 points in Ohio.
Officials for Trump's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
'WHAT JOBS ARE YOU BRINGING BACK?'
Poll respondents reached by Reuters who favored Clinton on trade mainly
gave two reasons - first, that international trade deals can help people
by lowering prices for goods; and second, they doubt Trump can deliver
on his promise to restore the U.S. manufacturing sector.
ďWe all like to have inexpensive items," Ronald Lane, 56, of Canonsburg,
Pennsylvania, who plans to vote for a third-party candidate next week as
a protest against both Trump and Clinton.
"I think itís important to save American jobs which have already gone
overseas, but I donít believe there is much that can be done to bring
them back," he said.
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Hillary Clinton visits a campaign field office in North Las Vegas,
Nevada. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Christina Ledesma, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Clinton supporter,
said she also disagreed with Trump that the economy would suffer a
lasting negative effect from trade deals.
"Our unemployment rate is lower than itís been since 2008. What jobs
are you bringing back?" she said.
Michigan's unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in September, below the
national average of 5 percent. Ohio's was at 4.8 percent and
Pennsylvania's at 5.7 percent.
Trump has called the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada
and Mexico one of the worst deals ever struck and blames it for
manufacturing jobs being moved to Mexico.
He also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would open
markets in East Asia. Trump argues that the deal, which must be
ratified by Congress, would motivate more U.S. companies to move
their production overseas.
Last week while campaigning, he called outsourcing ďthe greatest job
theft in the history of the world".
"The jobs theft will end Ö the day I start the presidency. Itís
going to be America first again," he said.
Clinton has offered a more tempered approach, saying she would seek
to re-evaluate NAFTA if elected and that there were problems with
some aspects of the TPP.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English from Oct. 6
to Oct. 17 in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12
in Ohio. It included 1,370 likely voters in Michigan, 1,467 in
Pennsylvania, and 1,200 in Ohio. All three state polls had a
credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points.
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Additional reporting by Alana Wise and
Chris Kahn; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Peter Cooney)
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