I’m moving on. You guys are tough. I sincerely hope we can all agree on this post. It has to do with all Democrats’ common goal… winning a Presidential election. The non-partisan “Center for Rural Strategies” released their new national rural poll today, and it’s definitely good news for us. As we are all painfully aware, the Republicans have killed us in Rural America in recent national elections (Bush beat Gore by 22 points and Kerry by 19 points). The poll, done by Republican pollster Bill Greener and Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg, says that Rural Americans don’t think Republicans are as pretty as they used to be.
The poll says that Rural Americans now favor a Democrat in the ’08 Presidential by 46%-43%. Can you imagine the implication if we just tied a Republican in Rural America? Without a large rural victory, a Republican can’t win in November ’08. In recent history, the Republicans have taken Rural America for granted based on social wedges, and the Democrats haven’t gone there because they didn’t think they could knock ‘em out. There has been no battleground although nearly all rural kitchen table issues match up Rural Americans with the Democrats. I have always believed that Rural Americans ain’t hardcore Republicans. They’ve just been voting for them. As evidenced by Mark Warner carrying a majority of rural votes in Virginia in 2001 (first time in a generation), pushback on the wedges works for Democrats in Rural America.
And a lot has happened since 2001… more job loss coupled with the death of economic fairness, a broken rural healthcare system, crumbling education, disproportionate loss of life and limb of our kids in Iraq, and on and on. According to the poll, the ground is fertile. However, we’ve got to fight the Republicans to claim the ground. There are a lot of us Democrats out in the rural areas who are clamoring to fight that fight. We just need the support of all Democrats. Check out the link to the poll.