Thursday, November 05, 2020

Rural voters appear to have stopped the 'blue wave' in 2020 election, though the final numbers are unclear

"The 2018 mid-term election saw a blue wave that strengthened Democratic control of the House. Despite pollster speculation that the wave would continue into 2020, the scenario did not play out, with the GOP holding some key, targeted Senate races and making gains in the House," John Herath reports for AgWeb.

It's unclear how much rural voters helped President Trump and down-ticket Republicans, but "an exit poll by Edison Research for the National Election Pool reported that 54 percent of small-city or rural residents voted for Trump while urban and suburban voters favored Democrat Joe Biden," Chuck Abbott reports for Successful Farming. But Trump appeared to have coattails in other races.

"Democrats were not able to hold on," Karla Thieman of The Russell Group, a bipartisan lobbying and consulting firm focused on food and agriculture, told Herath. "The 2018 wave that they were brought in on did not last this time. And the reason they weren't able to get re-elected is in large part, at least based on the data that I've seen, the number of rural voters who turned out for Donald Trump this time."

Thieman served as chief of staff to Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden under President Obama, and served as senior staff in the Senate Agriculture Committee for more than five years.

Though the final vote tallies aren't in yet in several states, rural and small-town voters proved decisive for President Trump in Ohio and led to House Agriculture chair Collin Peterson's defeat in Minnesota. 

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