Coarse, cruel, chaotic. Donald Trump has been called a lot of things. Even some of his supporters have had a hard time embracing the darker aspects of his personality. Until recently they have, however, trusted the president on one one vital issue: the economy.
But with just 16 days to go until the election, there are clear signs that Trump’s claims to have created the “greatest economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country” are unravelling.
Perhaps nowhere is that more worrying for Trump than in Wisconsin.
Losing Wisconsin ended Hillary Clinton’s presidential chances in 2016. Famously she didn’t campaign there, presuming a win that was snatched from her by Trump’s promises to end unfair trade practices that had hurt the state’s dairy industry and to bring back manufacturing jobs.
Until February, Trump could have confidently boasted that he had made good on his promises. Unemployment had fallen to record lows in the state, manufacturing was coming back – albeit at the same, snail-paced crawl that it had under Obama. The headline figures looked good. Then came the coronavirus – a disease that is now ravaging the state and has, in its wake, exposed the fault lines beneath those headline figures.