Senator Ernst Must Defend Her Seat in 2020

The Story:

Senator Jodi Ernst (R – Ia) nears the end of her first term in the US Senate. She will run for re-election, but she is already encountering a good deal of flak as a consequence of President Donald Trump’s love of tariffs. Trump’s tariffs on goods from China has led to Chinese tariffs on the agricultural products that Iowa exports.

Background: 

Although Iowa leans conservative, it is a state that President Barack Obama won twice, and that was represented in the US Senate by Tom Harkin (D) from 1984 to 2014: so conservative/Republican victories are not a sure thing.

The People’s Republic of China is the top market for U.S. agricultural exports. The US had as of 2017 a 52% share of China’s soybean market. One Iowa soybean farmer, Brent Renner, recently told the Des Moines Register, “A lot of us think that it [the fall-out from the trade war] can’t get any worse….But that’s probably not a safe bet.”

The Thing to Know:

Ernst is dealing with her constituents’ hostility toward the ‘war’ with China by posing herself as a moderating influence upon the President’s trade-war decisions. “I’m continually pushing on the administration,” she says, and Trump “will take my calls.”

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