Democrats are handling their 2016 defeat in the worst possible way. They lost rural voters. They lost working class voters. And they’re doubling down on their coastal elite image. Not smart.
Roll Call reports:
Rural Democrats: Party Ignored Us, Suffered the Consequences
Democrats in rural America have a blunt message for the rest of their party: We saw the electoral disaster coming — and it’s your fault.
Strategists and party officials say their warnings about the party’s lackluster outreach to rural voters went unheeded by Democratic leaders for years, culminating in this month’s shock defeat to Donald Trump. A presidential candidate who actually performed poorly in many cities and suburbs nonetheless scored an upset victory because of a surge in support from small towns and rural areas.
To these old Democratic political hands — many of whom hail from well outside the cities where most party professionals live — the outcome would have been preventable if the party had developed and sustained an effort to win over these voters. Instead, they say a Democratic Party that focused on only the urban and suburban vote either ignored rural America entirely or badly mishandled the outreach it did undertake.
“The Democratic Party ceded rural America to the Republicans quite some time ago,” said Vickie Rock, a member of the Nevada State Democratic Central Committee from rural Humboldt County. “They invested nothing, they built no bench. They don’t even send out signs anymore, which is a staple of rural politics.
When these voters see Donald Trump working hard for them, they will rally to him. Democrats aren’t even trying to keep them.
If these trends continue, Trump will easily win another four years in 2020.