Donald Trump supporters are closely watching the president-elect’s first key policy decisions as he prepares to enter the White House.
Voters who backed the GOP nominee in southeastern Michigan say as the country moves past the election, Trump will need to stay on message.
“Donald Trump has got a fantastic opportunity to show the blue-collar and union workers that he does have the ability as an outsider to bring a lot of change,” Terry Bowman, an autoworker and chair of the Union Conservatives in the region, said.
“We want you to fight for us now, we want you to fight on trade, fight for secure borders, and we want you to get our economy going again,” Jamie Roe, partner at the Michigan-based political strategy firm Grand River Strategies, said.
Trump attributes his success in the Wolverine State to campaigning on his business career.
He made this appeal in Macomb County just days before the election. “I’m telling you, I’m the only one who going to bring their business back, I’m the only one who is going to get rid of all these ridiculous regulations, I’m the only who is cutting taxes,” he said.
Trump ended up winning the county by more than 10 points – compared to President Obama defeating Gov. Mitt Romney there in 2012.
“A place like Macomb County where Barack Obama four years ago won it by 25,000 votes and Donald Trump won it by almost 50,000 votes this time so it was an incredible turnaround,” Roe said.
Michigan currently has an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent — slightly lower than the national average at 4.9 percent. Trump supporters though remain skeptical this is accurate.
“We’re not taking into consideration the thousands of people that have just stopped looking for work altogether”, said Benjamin Roark, a local sales representative.
Brian Pannebecker, a Ford Motor Company autoworker added, “Michigan’s economy is not fine right now, a lot of people have dropped out of the labor force”.
Supporters say they need results in his first few months in office.
“He has to show some progress in the next couple years on trade,” said Roe.
“In the upcoming year I at least want to see progress towards the bulk of all the issues he brought up through the campaign trail”, said Roark.