American VotersA new poll released by Morning Consult, in partnership with AEM, highlights that eighty-one percent of registered U.S. voters say a candidate’s position on manufacturing will influence their choice for president this November. This number is up five percent from a similar AEM/Morning Consult January poll. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it has caused have influenced voters’ perceptions, too. Nine out of ten registered voters believed it was important for elected officials to support American manufacturers during this uncertain time. And with the manufacturing sector’s impact on the economy, the poll shows that presidential candidates need to step up their efforts to support the industry. Fifty percent of voters indicate President Trump has done a “just fair” or “poor” job supporting manufacturing, while forty-four percent of voters believe Democratic candidate Joe Biden would do a “just fair” or “poor” job supporting manufacturing. 

“Voters are increasingly worried about U.S. manufacturing this election year and there’s clearly more work to be done by both President Trump and former Vice President Biden to convince voters how they plan to support this critical sector of our economy moving forward,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “As our elected officials continue their work to rebuild the economy, equipment manufacturers and the U.S. manufacturing sector will play a critical role in this effort. We need strong, pro-manufacturing policies to ensure that manufacturers are given every opportunity to succeed. We strongly urge both candidates this election year to make it clear to voters how they are going to support U.S. manufacturing in 2021 and beyond.” 

When it comes to policy, registered voters believe that candidates should support pro-manufacturing policies that will benefit the industry and the economy, such as infrastructure investment (seventy-nine percent), workforce development (seventy-nine percent), and agricultural and rural issues (seventy-six percent).  

The national poll also included oversamples of registered voters in manufacturing-heavy states Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas. The equipment manufacturing industry supports nearly 1.2 million jobs across these five states and 2.8 million across the country. At least half of registered voters in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin say they either work in the manufacturing sector or know someone who does, ten percentage points higher than the national average. At the same time, one out every four (twenty-four percent) of registered voters in Michigan and one out of every five (eighteen percent) of registered voters in Ohio say they have either lost a manufacturing job or know someone who did. 

To keep manufacturing front and center during the 2020 election, AEM is launching a groundbreaking get-out-the-vote campaign in August. The campaign, called Equipped to Vote, will engage, educate, and equip voters with the information they need to support pro-manufacturing candidates in November. AEM will also engage directly with candidates throughout the country to ensure manufacturing remains a key issue leading up to November. 

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