Memo to the Republican presidential candidates: 94% of likely primary voters think it’s important for you to prioritize American manufacturing.
Let me start off with a disclaimer: The Alliance for American Manufacturing is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution, and as such, we do not take sides in elections or endorse any specific candidates.
But we do seek to inform candidates of all political persuasions about the importance of our policy issues, and part of that effort is via public opinion polling that tracks the popularity of those issues among likely voters. As such, we just wrapped up a new poll, conducted by Morning Consult, that asked likely Republican primary voters what they thought about American manufacturing and key pieces of policy designed to strengthen it.
As the leading candidates gather in California on Wednesday for the next Republican presidential primary debate, we think they should be paying attention to the poll findings, because it’s pretty evident from the results that this is a group of voters who back manufacturing. An overwhelming 94% of respondents said it’s important for presidential candidates to prioritize manufacturing! That’s not all:
- 90% (!!!) of likely Republican primary voters want the president elected in 2024 to either increase tariffs on Chinese goods or keep the current tariffs in place as-is;
- 75% of likely Republican primary voters want the U.S. president to pursue a trade policy that puts American workers first;
- 84% of likely Republican primary voters support federal investment in American infrastructure;
- 86% of likely Republican primary voters say taxpayer money for infrastructure projects should be spent on Made in America products;
- 83% of likely Republican primary voters support tax incentives to build U.S. factories;
- 86% of likely Republican primary voters think its important for the U.S. to maintain a strong domestic steel industry;
- 79% of likely Republican primary voters say that America’s economic future depends on bringing back training programs for blue-collar jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, like manufacturing.
As part of the poll, Morning Consult did an oversampling of likely Republican primary voters from Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are critical swing states that are also part of the Industrial Heartland. Respondents also relayed robust support for manufacturing policies, similar to findings from the national poll:
- 93% of Ohio voters and 91% of Pennsylvania voters want the president elected in 2024 to increase the tariffs on Chinese goods or allow them to remain as-is;
- 90% of Ohio voters and 91% of Pennsylvania voters think the federal government should be doing more to bring manufacturing back to the United States;
- 78% of Ohio voters and 84% of Pennsylvania voters think presidential candidates should prioritize strengthening U.S. supply chains and creating more manufacturing jobs for American workers;
- 79% of voters in both states think America’s economic future depends on bringing back training programs for blue collar jobs that don’t require a college degree.
These are just some of the big highlights; there’s a lot more data in the polls that’s worth digging into. But one clear takeaway is that this isn’t your grandfather’s Grand Old Party. The Republican voter base wants the United States to strengthen its ability to make the things we need, and is in support of policy that gets us there.
As AAM President Scott Paul put it: “Our organization is nonpartisan and doesn’t endorse presidential candidates. We can say this: Candidates who reject tariffs, support free trade, and want to roll back investments in America are completely out of touch with voters.”
Read the national poll results, the Ohio poll results, and the Pennsylvania poll results. You can also find shareable graphics here, and be sure to tell the leading Republican presidential candidates to make manufacturing part of their campaign platform.