Report: Investing in Rural and Small-Town Voters
Rural Democracy Initiative issues a new report: “The Importance of Investing in Rural and Small-Town Voters.” The report, created by political analyst Mike Lux, reviews voting trends to establish the importance of rural voters and strategies for funding rural civic engagement.
Key reasons to invest in rural civic engagement include:
- Stop the Insurrectionist Faction
Right now, the main people organizing in rural America are hard right, frequently white nationalist groups fervently in favor of Donald Trump’s attack on democratic governance. If progressives and Democrats don’t counter what is happening in rural areas and small to mid-sized towns, the violent, insurrectionist fervor will intensify.
- Persuade Swing Voters
Rural and small-town voters are among the swingiest voters.
- Concentrated Political Power
Because of the electoral college, rural and small-town voters are disproportionately powerful in electing a president. Even the smallest population states get three electoral votes, and all but one of the traditional battleground states have a significant share of rural and small-town voters. With gerrymandering, Rural and small town voters tend to be distributed proportionally in more competitive districts. It is almost impossible to win Democratic majorities in state legislative chambers in purple and red states unless Democrats improve their rural and small-town vote.
Given the need to invest, the report provides a strategic analysis of how to invest. Lux provides a state-by-state analysis and a prognosis for short and long-term governing power as well as Democratic control of the U.S. Senate. In addition, the report offers further guidance on civic engagement, including:
- The persuasion potential of rural and small-town voters
- Top ten challenges in non-metro organizing
- What is working in rural and small-town organizing, including examples of groups in the Rural Democracy Initiative network
- Rural Democracy Initiative theory of change
- Identifying seven different kinds of non-metro counties