Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Voter turnout in Republican rural areas was much higher than in nearby Democratic industrial centers

Democrats still trying to figure out what went wrong during the presidential election need only to look at voter turnout from rural areas surrounding urban industrial centers, says Jonathan Rodden, a professor of political science and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford Universitywriting in The Washington Post. Donald Trump focused on rural white areas with typically high voter turnout rates that were largely ignored by Democrats, who concentrated on industrial centers with low turnout.

Democrats lost rural areas and small industrial towns, but their losses were especially dramatic in rural areas, Rodden notes. "In larger towns with an industrial history or a university (or both), Democrats still win majorities." (Post graphic: Dot size shows precincts' comparative size in Vigo County, Indiana, long a swing county. Blue is 2016 turnout; red is 2012 turnout. Voter turnout was much higher in rural Republican areas than urban Democratic ones.)
"The Trump campaign successfully appealed to high-turnout rural areas that had been either evenly divided or delivered slim Republican majorities in the recent past," Rodden writes. "As Democrats consider whether to completely give up on rural areas where they once brought in votes, they must keep in mind that rural voters might be able to make up for their dwindling raw numbers by voting at higher rates than growing urban populations."

No comments: