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Intriguing recent polling of rural voters

by Dan Burns on July 10, 2017 · 2 comments

cornActually, urban and suburban voters, as well, but as with the analysis in the quoted article I’m primarily interested in the rural thing, in the context of past and future elections.
First, though, a couple of remarks from me. I admit that I’m still pissed about the 2016 polling. Which is for the most part unfair of me, and not just because I’m not exactly perfect in all that I do, either. I clearly recall that the Sunday before the election, the recent polls listing on had a lot of them with Hillary winning the national vote by 1-3%. I was disdainful, as I thought it would be more like 5%, but they were right. It was just in some of the close states that there was really a significant problem, and they are trying to figure that out.
Second, issue polling does have fudge factors that must be kept in mind. Small differences in wording can lead to big swings in results. But when the numbers seem consistent and sensible, it’s OK to run with them.

Keep in mind that recent studies have shown that voters with that set of beliefs on race, religion, and culture were instrumental in getting Donald Trump elected in 2016. They’re by no means a majority of all of his supporters, but these largely rural and poorly-educated voters were disproportionately among the ranks of the Obama-to-Trump flippers who made the difference in flipping key Midwestern states that tipped the Electoral College in his direction.
The point in citing all of this polling data, however, isn’t merely to say “Ha ha, look at all these dumb rubes, glad we’re rid of them,” or to warn against using economic arguments to try and win back white working-class voters in Midwestern states who flipped from Obama to Trump but may be willing to vote Democratic again. In fact, one possible angle would be to look at the similar rates of economic discontent among all regions of the country to make a sort of “we’re all in this together, against a rigged economy” sort of argument. (Although, in terms of get-out-the-vote activity, I would still argue that a higher-percentage play is to focus on getting more urban and suburban residents voting who aren’t even registered or who turn out only irregularly, especially black and Latino urban voters; that’s a much larger, and growing, pool of untapped votes, rather than the shrinking pool of mercurial swing voters.)
(Daily Kos)

The right wing had a good election in Minnesota in 2016 because rural DFLers skipped this one and rural swing voters went for Trump. That’s bad.
Comments below fold.

From Mac Hall: “The right wing had a good election in Minnesota in 2016 because rural DFLers skipped this one and rural swing voters went for Trump. That’s bad.”
Tony offers some very good analysis … although, my impression is that if he included the mid-term years, he would find that it is even more apparent that the MN-GOP consistently gets its voters to participate (look to when the MN-GOP retook the House in 2014,what was the MinnPost headline — “With big assist from rural voters, GOP retakes House”.
Let us remember that Mark Dayton topped Republican Tom Emmer by roughly 9000 votes in 2010 but Dayton won big in 2014 against Jeff Johnson by over 109,000.
The total number of votes in 2010 was 2,106,979.
The total number of votes in 2014 was 1,975,406.
So why was able to Dayton able to squeak by in 2010 but blow out the GOP challenger when less people voted ?
The answer is in the strength of the third-party … to provide a reason for people to go to the polls to cast a “Anybody but” vote. In 2010, Tom Horner lead the third-party challengers with over 250,000 while all the third-party challengers in 2014 didn’t even tally over 110,000.
Now, when you look at Trump’s almost win, you see how much more likely it could have been when you consider the votes that Evan McMullin and Gary Johnson tallied more than 166,000 votes … easily more than enough to have overcome Clinton’s roughly 44,000 margin.
Also, let’s not forget that the Lewis-Craig contested was impacted by the 7.8% of the votes that went to Independent Party challenger Overby.
IMO, the MN-GOP promotes (fear mongers) the issues (abortion, guns, regulations, government overreach, immigrants taking jobs, taxes, etc.) that drive people to participate … and on Election Night, they prove that fear wins.
From Mac Hall: Your readers might appreciate the MPR story on Cass County where Trump won 62% of the vote with Clinton getting 31% and independents getting 7%. The Trump voters still support him but do not like the Republicans plans to cut Medicaid.
Here’s the interesting sidenote …. in 2016 Cass County, Trump (9982) outperformed Mills (9407) with others getting 1068 votes while Nolan (6287) outperformed Clinton (4949). Voters side with the MN-GOP candidates in the state Minnesota 9709 versus 5666 and the state House contests 9710-5560.
Compare that to 2012 Cass County, Romney won 8957 to Obama 6858 with 210 votes going to others. In the House, Cravaack won 8086 to Nolan 7199.
Strictly looking at Cass County, my assessment is the county will always tend to vote for the GOP candidate … and the best argument is that with the legislature being controlled by the Republicans (in Congress as well as in Minnesota), that if you want to protect yourself from Republican policy views, ya better vote for the opposition.

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