A new Morning Consult poll reported that 65% of American rural voters hold unfavorable views about the Democratic Party. In contrast, only 29% of rural voters view the party favorably. This latest survey involved 1,525 self-identified rural voters interviewed between January 14 to 16. There is a one percent margin or error.
Additionally, of the 65% of rural voters who view the Democratic Party unfavorably, 48% say they view the “very unfavorably”. Consequently, only 23% of rural voters think the Democratic Party cares more about their community compared to Republicans. These results come in at a time when Democrats are struggling to maintain their slim majorities in Congress. Many analysts are expecting an uphill battle for Democrats in the coming midterm elections this May.
65% View The Democratic Party Unfavorably, with 48% Saying they View The Party “Very Unfavorably”
In total, the findings show that candidate positions on cultural matters help rural voters perceive Democrats. In a total of 21 cultural issues, rural voters preferred candidates who support securing the US-Mexico border. They also prefer those who support Christian values, support for the police, and increased military spending. These four reasons are the major none that sway rural voters toward the Republican party.
However, there are other issues that Democrats hold positively that actually turn away rural voters. These issues are stricter gun control, LGBTQ+ issues, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rural Voters Think Republican Party Can Govern Better
The survey also asked voters which party they think can govern better. They also asked which party supports businesses, and which one is more willing to compromise. On all three fronts, rural voters favored the Republican Party over its counterpart. However, the same voters admitted that the Democratic Party was a bigger supporter of immigrants entering the country versus Republicans.
One finding also showed that rural voters are less likely than the average American to live in a diverse community. Only three in ten rural voters say that immigrants live in their area. In contrast, the national average is 45%. Consequently, only 51% of rural voters hold favorable views of immigrants. For comparison, the national average is 60%.
The Biggest Challenge of Democrats
Brooklynne Roulette Mosley is a Democratic strategist working in Texas, New Jersey, and Kansas. She said that the Democrats’ biggest challenge in rural areas is aware of their existence there. She admits to the presence of a “wall” between Democrats and rural voters.
The numbers support her assertion. Only 65% of rural voters say they live around a Democrat. In contrast, 75% of urban and suburban voters say the same thing. In addition, rural independents and Republicans are less likely to identify Democrats as their neighbors.
Mosley said that oftentimes, the wall is “just not wanting to be different in the community”.
Communities are often very small and everyone knows everybody else. During interactions, people say a lot of things about Democrats that are not true. However, without a Democrat around, nobody can dispute or challenge the assertions.“If you don’t interact with someone you know who’s a Democrat, we just seem like the bogeyman,” Mosley noted.
Watch the UChicago’s Institute of Politics’ video reporting on the Democrats’ rural problem
Do you agree with the findings that 61% of rural voters view the Democratic Party unfavorably? Why do you think this is so?
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