Midwestern farmers contemplate vote after season of bad weather, COVID-19

ENJOLI FRANCIS, KELLY LANDRIGAN and HALEY YAMADA
·2 min read

Lindsey Larson has spent 40 years harvesting the same dirt in America’s heartland, Iowa. But in August, he lost half of his corn acres to a massive storm.

Like many others, the farmer said he’s looking past the year 2020 toward greener pastures.

“I know that we’ve gone through one of our worst harvests in 2020. But I’m already starting to make plans for 2021,” Larson told “World News Tonight.”

Larson, a lifelong Republican, is a part of the crucial base President Donald Trump won in 2016. He’s also one of the people Trump is relying on to win a second term. Yet, between the president’s trade policies, weather relief and COVID-19, this typically staunch voter base has been left to consider their important vote.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Oct. 27, 2020, in Omaha, Neb. (Steve Pope/Getty Images)
PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Oct. 27, 2020, in Omaha, Neb. (Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Supportive of Trump’s trade policies, Larson voted for the president again. But he said that the more than $37 billion in total federal aid provided to farmers this year, which was some in part of COVID-19 relief, but most due to weather damage - has still not been enough.

“The aid was far from what the pain was. But the pain sometimes is necessary to get to an agreement where we can feel like we can go forward,” Larson said.

Despite the bailout, Mike Holden, a third generation farmer in Iowa, said he could not overlook what he views as failed leadership and a lack of civility in the White House.

PHOTO: A downed power line leans over a street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Aug. 16, 2020. A rare Derecho storm battered large sections of Cedar Rapids leaving people homeless and without power.  (KC McGinnis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHOTO: A downed power line leans over a street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Aug. 16, 2020. A rare Derecho storm battered large sections of Cedar Rapids leaving people homeless and without power. (KC McGinnis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“I think [Trump is] dangerously reckless. He’s brutally insensitive and disrespectful,” said Holden, who cast his ballot for Biden.

In a push to win over rural voters, former Vice President Joe Biden plans to visit Iowa on Friday. Trump, on the other hand, made a visit to Nebraska on Tuesday. Rural residents support Trump 58% compared to 38% for Biden, according to a mid-October ABC/Washington Post poll.

Midwestern farmers contemplate vote after season of bad weather, COVID-19 originally appeared on abcnews.go.com