Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Rural voters play a big role in midterms; Democrats suffer the consequences

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who was defeated in a Republican wave yesterday, said he wishes President Obama "were more in touch with rural America," Matt Barron writes for The Hill. The same can be said about Democrats in general. The Democrats' issues with rural people ranges "from recruiting poor candidates, not showing up in small towns to campaign, hiring urban-centric consultants who have no dirt under their nails to bad mapmaking as a result of the 2010 redistricting."

Democrats knew support of rural voters would be key this year. Even so, they fell short in important races. "Prior, who as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee's spending panel on agriculture was in charge of writing the annual bill to fund popular programs such as broadband, rural development, research and extension, was dumped by a congressman who voted against the farm bill and disaster aid for tornado and flood-ravaged Arkansas towns," Barron reports.

In spite of Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's plan to grow her state's rural economies are part of her agenda, she lost to the republican candidate. "The loss of majority-rural House seats also continues to haunt the Democrats," Barron writes. Aaron Woolf's issues with health code violations, problems with employee wages and "the fact that he seemed more city slicker than North Country doomed his bid to hold retiring Rep. Bill Owen's seat for the Democrats."

Democrats lost control of the state House in Minnesota, too. Nancy Larson, a former Democratic National Committee member, said, "Minnesota is doing great, but we're losing everybody in rural. Our message must not be connecting; people aren't connecting the dots." (Read more)

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