Generic Democrat Winning the Rural Vote

I think it goes without saying that this is very good news indeed:

Republicans have not made up ground they lost among rural voters in the 2006 election, according to a poll commissioned by the Center for Rural Strategies. The study indicates that negative views about the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, and the economy are eroding the Republican party’s rural base.

But rural voters remain more conservative than the nation as a whole, creating an opportunity for Republicans to make up their losses, according to the poll of 804 rural likely voters conducted this month.

Among the findings of the Rural Strategies poll are:

  • Rural voters deliver a narrow plurality to a generic Democratic candidate for President: 46 – 43 percent. In contrast, President Bush won the rural vote in 2004 by 19 points.
  • Voters are not inspired by any candidate for president, including Fred Thompson, who draws a modest 22 percent favorable, 18 percent unfavorable score among the 52 percent who are familiar with him.
  • At the Congressional level, voters prefer Democrats in named trial heats 46 – 44 percent.

The GOP needs to destroy the Democrats in rural areas to have a hope of winning in 2008.  Not beat.  Destroy.  As noted, Bush won in 2004 by 19% in rural areas — and barely won.  Had Bush won the rural areas by only 12%, it’s likely President Kerry would be gearing up for next year.  Had Bush lost the rural vote by 3%, Bush would’ve lost in an epic landslide.

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7 Comments

Filed under 10_jeff_fecke

7 responses to “Generic Democrat Winning the Rural Vote

  1. nightshift66

    Greetings, Jeff. You’ll find that I’m the resident grump on many issues, and this is one of them. As a bona fide resident of rural RedStateLand, I’ve seen this before. Sure, the yokels get angry at the GOP in non-election years, and ‘lean’ toward the ‘generic’ Dem. But every election is one individual against another, and so far, the sheeple have always said some variant of, “Oh, I just can’t vote for Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Clinton/whatever Dem actually gets nominated; they’re TOO liberal.” So I’m not really hopeful that these numbers will translate into actual votes switching parties in 2008.

    However, I think there is an excellent chance that the GOP base, faced with the epic and unprecedented failure of the current regime, will stay home in droves. That may well be enough by itself.

  2. grape_crush

    Yeah, but…stands on traditionally Democratic issues always poll well with rural America. Plug in a specific Dem candidate pitching the same issues, and the picture isn’t quite as rosy.

    It sometimes amazes me why rural people vote for ‘conservative’ candidates who go on to push for policies that are detrimental to rural interests. But then again, with all the spin in the newspapers and on the tube, it really shouldn’t…

  3. Arkades

    I, for one, look forward to the wise and benevolent Generic Democrat administration. Any indications whom Generic Democrat may tap as a running mate?

  4. It’s good news that generic Democrats are beating generic Republicans in the polls. Hopefully the Democrats will take the opportunity to make some inroads. Unfortunately polling now is different from polling on election day. Republicans in recent years have been very good at manipulating their message to scare rural voters away from the Democrats. Unless the Republican consultants suddenly lose their touch, it will still be tough competing.

  5. Ginger Yellow

    “Any indications whom Generic Democrat may tap as a running mate?”

    I’m guessing Southern White Male Democrat.

  6. as another one who lives in a totally red (mormon red) state and in the rural part of it to boot all i can say is that they haven’t talked to any of my neighbors. they are steeling themselves for the “hold your nose and vote” exercise so familiar to democrats should the nominee fall short of their standards for the promotion of theocracy and the rejection of science, but they will do their duty to Gawd’s Own Party come election day.

  7. Reba

    I guess it depends on which rural they were polling, doesn’t it? There’s a big difference between Iowa rural and Kentucky rural – or any other state/region. I couldn’t find information on how the polling was done, so it’s hard to determine how accurate it is. I will say that farmers tend to get pissed off when you waste their money. But there are larger issues now – most specifically the number of rural soldiers lost and the failure of the government to take seriously or act upon the growing meth problem. Add gas prices to that (because it really, really sucks when you live 25+ miles from major shopping areas and the only hardware store in town closed down) and you have a formula for some pissed off people. One thing rural folks do is talk to each other about these sorts of things, so the building of sentiment against the GOP is not surprising. That doesn’t mean it will result in votes for Dems, though.

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