Writing in the Washington Post, Donald Trump-loathing conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin pointed out a recent poll that showed the president’s support in small-town America is collapsing over failed policies — making those voters receptive to pitches from Democrats.
Rubin began by pointing to a Bloomberg report stating, “Donald Trump is nearly as unpopular in small towns as he is in suburban areas and cities, signaling potential trouble for his re-election prospects, according to a survey that highlights the Republican president’s vulnerabilities.”
Noting that Trump’s support in lightly populated rural areas is holding at 46 percent, Bloomberg said voters in small towns who say they would vote for Trump in 2020 has plummeted to only 33 percent — stunningly close to the 24 percent in cities who still favor the Republican president.
According to Rubin this opens a big door for Democrats, not only by presenting a more inclusive economic message, but by also emphasizing small-town values.
“Certainly, part of the answer is to run geographically-appropriate candidates, as the Democratic Party did last month in suburban districts,” Rubin suggested. “That generally requires more centrist candidates. However, in order to make progress in these small towns, Democrats will need an agenda. Fortunately, there are plenty of good ideas out there — ones that will fit in well with the rest of an economic package designed to help those who have not prospered in the globalized economy.”
After listing off a 4-point economic plan proposed by Nathan Arnosti and Amy Liu, scholars of the Brookings Institute, Rubin said Democrats need to make an issue out of Trump’s billionaire-friendly economic policies at the expense of Americans struggling to get by.
“Democrats should keep in mind one additional advantage: Trump — not to mention his billionaire advisers, indicted cronies and former paramours — doesn’t remotely symbolize small-town values,” she wrote. “Democrats would do well to make the case that they, not the Republicans, represent values such as empathy, community, family unity, self-discipline and hard work.”
“As in so many other arenas, Trump and the Republicans do a good job of talking about small-town America, but their “solutions” — xenophobia, bringing back coal, protectionism — are either useless or even counterproductive (as we saw with the president’s tariffs). Republicans still seem allergic to using government in positive ways to even help their own constituents,” she added. “Democrats, therefore, have an opportunity to marry good policy and good politics.”
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