Thursday, June 29, 2017
Research finds Clinton lost rural voters in 2008, presaging 2016 result
Hillary Clinton did well against Barack Obama in urban areas in the 2008 primary election, but failed to secure the nomination in large part because of her failure to win a majority of rural voters, according to research recently released by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.
The results proved prophetic for her loss to President Trump in the general election of 2016. In 2008, Clinton lost rural America to Obama by 2.1 million votes, the research shows. The Atlantic reported that in 2016 Trump beat Clinton by roughly 11.5 million votes in rural areas.
"Through the last five presidential elections voting patterns were consistent along a rural-urban continuum," the researchers state. "Democrats did best at the urban end of the continuum and Republicans at the rural end. What is distinctly different in 2016 is that Hillary Clinton did far worse across the entire rural end of the continuum than any Democratic candidate in the previous four presidential elections."
Politico speculates that Clinton didn't believe she needed rural voters, noting that her campaign did not name a rural council as Obama had or build a solid rural campaign infrastructure.