Rust Belt Rising Poll of Midwestern States

Poll in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio from December 3-5, 2019


Key Findings: 

Rust Belt Rising recently conducted a survey in four key Midwestern states that will decide the next President - Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio - to understand voters’ views about the economy, their struggles and priorities, and the upcoming election. This poll of 2,116 likely voters finds Donald Trump does not have a lock on the states that delivered his Electoral College victory in 2016, and voters have significant concerns about their economic situations, particularly healthcare costs.


A generic Democrat leads President Trump by 3 points in Michigan (50 Democrat, 47 Trump) and is running even with him in Wisconsin (48 Trump, 47 Democrat) and Pennsylvania (49 Trump, 48 Democrat). Trump leads 51 to 45 in Ohio, which he won by 8 points in 2016.


Midwesterners believe the economy has improved but they do not feel it as much in their own lives, and they believe the national economy will not be as strong in one year.


Voters in the Rust Belt say the greatest obstacles to their own financial success are the rising cost of living and a system tilted towards the wealthy and well-connected. The cost of living crisis begins with health care and prescription drug costs, which continue to be voters’ biggest concern.


At every opportunity in the survey, voters made clear how much they are struggling with rising health care and prescription drug costs and angry with insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Their greatest economic worry is that they will get sick and be unable to afford health care expenses.


Midwesterners support a bold economic policy agenda that starts with protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, reducing the cost of health insurance, prescription drugs, and out of pocket costs, renegotiating trade agreements to keep more manufacturing jobs here, investing in infrastructure, getting money out of politics, and raising taxes on the rich so the middle class pays less.


Poll Top Lines

Sample & Methodology


Change Research surveyed 2,116 likely 2020 voters across MI, PA, OH, and WI from December 3-5, 2019. The margin of error as traditionally calculated +/- 4.27 for results in Michigan, 4.28 in Ohio, 4.22 in Pennsylvania, and 4.26 in Wisconsin. Change Research reaches voters via targeted online ads that point people to an online survey instrument. Our Dynamic Online Sampling delivers large samples that accurately reflect the demographics of a population. Post-stratification was performed within each state on age, gender, ethnicity, education, and 2016 Presidential vote.

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