Saturday, April 6, 2019

Small Town Voters like Democratic inspired ideas, just not Democrats

In politics these days, it’s not as much what is said as who says it. The reports on last year's Nov. 6 election have been largely about the growing political divide between rural and urban. Urban voters are getting more Democratic and rural voters more Republican.

What we can see now, however, is that Democratic candidates are paying an “identity penalty” in rural counties, they are losing votes not because of what they propose but because of the “D” that sits beside their name on the ballot.
Rural voters both rejected Democratic candidates by close or in some cases, by wide margins but, on the same ballot, voted for Democratic (if not downright liberal) positions in nonpartisan propositions and amendments.

Party is largely about identification these days, not policy. Its like being a sports fan than a policy wonk.

Imagine walking down a hall of a large building. There are gatherings happening in two separate rooms. You can look through a door and see the people in each group. You size them up, seeing what kind of clothes they wear and imagining whether they would be the kind of folks you’d want to spend time with or have your children visit. You make a judgment, pick a room and go in. You join a team.
That’s how political parties are chosen. It’s about identification and social solidarity, not issues. And that identity is strong and divided by geography. Rural residents went in one door and urban/suburban dwellers went in the other.

Second, identity is not something that people easily give up. (Have you ever convinced a sports fan to change his or her allegiance?) And so the “identity penalty” Democrats pay in heavily Republican areas might....MIGHT be too great to overcome depending on the candidate.

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This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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