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Mid-term Elections: Will Economic Strength Benefit Republicans?

“I do not like the man, but the results are good,” says Terry McCarthy speaking of President Donald Trump.

To support his remarks, the Town Councilor of Racine, a small town in southeastern Wisconsin, takes us to the edge of a huge construction site that is changing the face of his community.

It is in Racine that Foxconn, a Taiwanese technology company, has chosen to settle. Its megaproject factory is expected to create 13,000 jobs.

In a region where the closures of manufacturing companies have multiplied in recent decades, the project is obviously viewed with a good eye. Donald Trump, for whom Wisconsin support was crucial in the 2016 election, came to the groundbreaking ceremony in June.

Councilor Terry McCarthy is an independent and plans to vote Democrat in November, to have a balance of power in Washington. But he still gives Donald Trump credit on the economic side.

In the Republican camp, one can not fail to point out that the state’s economy has rarely been so well carried.

The economy is not even an issue. There are more jobs available than people who want to occupy them!

Chris Goebel, Republican activist

“The economy has improved a lot. Is it because of Republicans or is it the era of time? Wonders Diana Sorensen, an indecisive electrician she met at a flea market in Janesville, further west.

Democratic Elector Jim Bailer is not convinced by the economic indicators.

This is a false improvement. There are no full-time jobs for most of us. Myself, I work part time and I do not have insurance.

Jim Bailer, Elector

It is not surprising, in this context, that both Democrats and Republicans in recent days in Wisconsin agree that beyond the economy, the issue of health insurance is central to this mid-term campaign.

Who will replace Paul Ryan?

Racine and Janesville are in the first congressional district of Wisconsin. This year, the election has a special meaning: we need to find a replacement for Republican Paul Ryan. The Speaker of the House will step down 20 years after his first election.

In the race to succeed him, everything seems to oppose the Republican and Democratic candidates. Their positions are poles apart on health, taxation and immigration.

The opponents have one thing in common: a critical message to the political elites.

Republican Bryan Steil, a lawyer, does not fail to talk about his experience in the manufacturing sector and offers “Wisconsin-specific solutions” in Washington.

His opponent, Democrat Randy Bryce, is a former metallurgy worker who appears with a headset on his head in his commercials. He says he is in politics to “give a voice to the workers”.

On both sides, the strategy is well calculated. Wisconsin, a traditionally Democratic state at the presidential level, caused surprise by voting for Donald Trump in 2016.

“He won because his message joined blue-collar workers and ordinary people,” says a Republican volunteer. Like what, in Wisconsin, both Democrats and Republicans seem to have learned the lesson.

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