Democrats need to campaign inter alia on a full-throated condemnation of Trump's protectionism. Over and over again, they need to point out that Trump has raised taxes on ordinary people with his tariffs -- we need to get an estimate of the net effect of the tax "cuts" less tariff-induced price increases and run with it. I have to say that years and years of "progressives' " apologia for protectionism -- the nonsense about the jobs destroyed by NAFTA (when jobs created are ignored!) is a case in point--has contributed to the current muteness of the Democrats on these issues.
Surely a full-throated anti-protectionist message could capture votes in rural America. And a non-negligible part of the pervasive corruption of this administration centers on the quid pro quos, explicit or implicit, that are involved in granting exemptions from tariffs --this needs to be investigated to a much greater extent.