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IPFS News Link • Politics: Democratic Campaigns

Rural Democrats stare into the abyss after Virginia


As Democrats sort through the wreckage of their loss in Virginia, a familiar feeling is creeping over the dwindling number of rural officials left in the party: They have seen this show before.

Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin's performance in the suburbs, where he clawed back ground former President Donald Trump and the GOP had lost in recent elections, got the most attention before and after election night. But another key ingredient of his victory was blowout strength in the rural areas of the state, drawing high turnout, setting new marks for Republican support and squeezing Democrats to record-low shares of the vote in small county after small county.

Now, some Democratic operatives and politicians focused on rural voters say their party needs to wake up. Without investing more in organizing and outreach to address new lows with rural voters, critical elections in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and other states President Joe Biden narrowly won could slip away from the party next year. Recent struggles in states like Ohio and Iowa could solidify into ceding those places long-term.