Trump spent most of 2016 in a one-way fight with Detroit’s automakers. He hammered them for moving jobs to Mexico and for shuttering iconic factories that were long linked to Detroit’s core identity. He promised in user-friendly sound bites to bring back the jobs. Michiganders rewarded him, giving Republicans a slim win in the state for the first time since George H.W. Bush carried it in 1988.
Four years later, Michigan’s economy has, quite simply, not seen the promised benefits of a Trump presidency. Despite Trump’s rhetoric that America’s Black voters had nothing to lose by backing him, racial disparity in the state is still staggeringly deep. At 15%, Michigan has the highest poverty rate of the five Midwest swing states still in play. Blacks are six times more likely than whites to live in economically distressed areas in this state.
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