Here’s Michael Barone’s incisive and detailed analysis of the congressional races. He attempts to explain why Republican support has declined in rural areas but has held steady or even picked up in metropolitan ones. One theory: Rural Americans bear most of the burden of fighting the war in Iraq, while urbanites have the most to fear from terrorists. It could be, though, that Republican metro-success may depend on the peculiarities of particular races--in MD the Republicans have an attractive African American candidate who is doing comparatively well among black voters, in NJ the Democrats are stuck with a crook. Its also the case the NJ is one of the few states that the Republicans recruited the challenger they wanted most.
Great analysis by Barone. And frightening. If culturally sound rural Americans are drifting away from us because of the war and the lack of jobs, thats a huge problem. With the Senate unable to act on the cultural front, and Bush largely unwilling to use these issues ("armies of compassion" doesnt count), we seem tuned out to many of these people. We can hope that soccer moms and office-park dads will make up for this, but that seems doubtful. In addition, even if Kean and Steele are elected, they will be unable to vote a conservative line even if they want to. Given a choice, Id rather save Talent and Burns than gain Kean and Steele while losing those two red-state incumbents. Likewise, and for the same reason, in red-state House races. It would be a bloody shame to lose Hostettler, Sodrel and/or Chocola (IN). Less bad, given a choice, to lose Shays, Johnson,
and/or Simmons (CT).
Rural people are closer to nature; they know better than to take crappy bs all the time. Lets face it the GOP has been dishing out plenty of that lately, so whats the suprise.
Also rural voters are extremely headstrong and independent. If they get pissed off theyll switch parties to punish the one they are mad at. To be honest I dont blame them.
David F--of course your analysis surpasses Barones. You need to get your own column.
Clint--Youre right about the pissed off vote this time. Im worried, as Ive said before.
Thanks. Doubt any analysis of mine could match Barones, but its always possible for him to miss something.
Rural red America is fading fast. Our only hope lies in the metro rings.
And I dont think the war explains any of this...its the anemic manufacturing base that the rural areas increasingly depend on. Globalization will be our undoing, wait and see.