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Why Democrats will lose in rural America...again

December 6, 2019
By David Kruse - Columnist , Farm News

Part 2 of 2

Democrats seem to think that what they need to sell farmers on is the need for cover crops and carbon sequestration. These are as much just talking points as anything else, politically correct agriculture, but if they are more than that, we should soon find out as adoption is tested. Farmers will accept innovation and incentives but force them to do something and you will lose them.

Obama once said that Midwest voters cling to "guns and religion" and they do. I see nothing wrong with that. Beto O'Rourke, who may have been the dumbest Democrat in the race before leaving it, said that he was going to confiscate guns that he did not find acceptable for us to own and that he was going to eliminate tax exemptions for churches that did not believe as he did relative to gay rights. Beto was prepared to violate two articles of the Constitution while criticizing DJT (Donald J. Trump) for violating said Constitution.

Maybe with the exceptions of Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, Democratic candidates have come from urban origins and have not engaged enough to understand, let alone feel the pulse of rural America. They come and campaign in rural urban centers like Des Moines and think that because their plane did not just fly over the heartland and they touched down this time that they are making a connection. They are not. The people that they do engage with are urban and we have seen how well that winning 6 of 99 counties in Iowa worked out for Hillary.

Democrats also were given that message in the last gubernatorial election in Iowa when the urban candidate lost because he never connected with rural counties. They keep thinking that if they win big in Des Moines and Iowa City that they can pull it out. How many times do they have to be shown they are wrong? Yet they appear clueless as to how to talk and connect to rural America. They have to come and listen and they do the talking instead and ignore what they hear. When they do come to rural towns they talk to local liberals and miss the general populace. They need to talk with "big farmers" and "real livestock producers", not just the local foodies and I am not sure that they know how to find them. That is why they show up to vote against Democrats in November.

I am not convinced that JD Scholten is going to make it this time either. He came very close to unseating Steve King last congressional election and so it is assumed that he has the edge this election. Maybe...but we don't know which Republican he will be running against as King is in a primary. A lot of people in this district will vote for a white supremacist before they will a Democrat. They proved that. Given instead a more traditional Republican and that base would shore up.

Scholten is making mistakes. He campaigned with New Jersey Senator Booker, a gun confiscating vegan urban liberal. I attended a Scholten town hall where he said that it was unusual that he had no primary challenger when King, the incumbent had four. True...but then I would ask why Scholten is campaigning like he is running for the Democratic nomination? He has got the Dems...who else would they vote for? It is the Independents and Republicans that he needs to convince that he is not an east coast liberal but yet he campaigns with one. The GOP is losing the suburbs but there are almost no suburbs in this district to help Scholten. He has to reduce the margin of loss in rural counties. I don't believe that he is an east coast liberal but it is hard to fly like an eagle when in a flock of turkeys and liberal Democrats are pariah in his district. What impresses them in DesMoines repulses them in the countryside.

What in the world is Scholten's campaign manager thinking letting him campaign with Booker? How will that attract Independent and Republican voters that he needs to win a Democratic deficit district? To win he will have to connect with livestock producers who are one of the largest constituencies in his district and they are not foodies. Steve King failed miserably as a constituent representative and Scholten needs to show how he will be different.

A fresh GOP candidate may be hard for Scholten to beat. This is a conservative district and Scholten's campaign, not only needs to travel to small town Iowa, but engage in coffee shops instead of town halls. He needs to tour packing plants and feed mills, seed corn processors, grain elevators, machinery dealerships, commercial feedlots and dairies, ethanol plants and sale barns.

The local Democratic Party often will not be able to put him in contact with who he needs to meet because they do not know them. Going to a few guns shows and letting them know that while you support background checks and age limits on purchases, you will not vote to take their guns (assault rifles) away, would also go a long way.

"Medicare for all" will not cut it in this district. Mayor Pete gets that. If Elizabeth Warren is the nominee, Scholten will encounter a conservative backlash in his district against her that will hurt him. He will have difficulty inoculating himself from that.

Why would I care about Democrats? Because we do not control events and Democrats may win power back in Congress and the White House. If we, rural America, have no relationship with Democrats, they will pay us no mind.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

 
 

 

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