Here’s How the Democrats Can Win Back Rural Voters

No matter how hard you try to disguise it, last week’s election results make it clear that the Democrats have a rural problem. Failure to seriously contest such a large portion of the voting card – let alone win – constantly leaves the party behind. Our party has repeatedly relied on suburban mothers and black women to save the day. They have cloaks – don’t get me wrong – but they also need a coalition of voters who will work with them to save democracy.

The solution won’t come from focus groups or surveys. It will come from people closest to the ground – state party leaders and grassroots organizers.

Gone are the days when our candidates were like Jesse Jackson, who rode a tractor to find common ground with rural voters and earn their trust and respect. Jackson argued that we need each other, urban and rural, to win – not just during the campaign, but throughout life. The advice Jackson gave during the farm crisis, standing with injured rural voters, still applies today: We must unite the “eaters and feeders” for justice in both urban and rural America.

If we Democrats continue to ignore the rural voters as a party and leave behind, we will not achieve fairness or justice on any of the issues that are important to us because we simply do not have enough votes to win, either nationally or in other critical areas Local races.

If we don’t come together as a national party by listening to and funding the state parties and local grassroots organizers, we can also say goodbye to the U.S. Senate along with governors, attorneys general, and foreign ministers – the brick walls to keep Republicans from taking our country turn it upside down.

The recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey were set to trigger deafening wake-up calls. But to be honest, this is a trend we’ve seen over the past two decades: every year, Democrats are losing more rural voters and more elected officials representing rural areas. The party has essentially no leaders on the national stage – in elected offices or on party committees – who live in a rural community.

This leaves a practical gap in the understanding of rural voters. There is no voice in the room when policy, embassy, ​​and funding decisions are made to argue why rural voters should be a focus of races across the country.

When my husband, Scott, was running for office a few years ago, an old hand stood up and said he agreed with Scott on many things that made him ponder because he was a longtime Republican. The voter then stated that he had never seen or heard of Democrats, “If there is only one church in town, guess what religion you are from?” My husband has lost his race, and much of that loss is due to the fundamentals Lack of investment in rural candidates and state parties, which continues to this day. The national party dismissed his race. In fact, a senior DC party leader asked Scott, a rancher, if he “wore a costume” when he showed up for a meeting in his cowboy boots.


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