“A growing swath of House Democratic candidates says the party needs to radically improve its heartland appeal to have any hope of keeping power in Washington.”
The 2022 midterm elections are now a little over a year away. How do Democrats feel about their chances?
They’re so confident that some of them left their party ID out of their ads.
They apparently believe rural voters won’t be able to figure out that they’re Democrats. Alexi McCammond reported at Axios:
Swing Country: Rural Dems run from party
A growing swath of House Democratic candidates says the party needs to radically improve its heartland appeal to have any hope of keeping power in Washington.
Why it matters: With control of the House and Senate on the bubble, many ambitious Democrats — from the South to the Midwest to the Rockies — are running against their own national party’s image.
What’s happening: After four years of listening to President Trump, many rural voters are reflexively distrustful of progressive solutions to everything from the pandemic to infrastructure.
- In a 3-min. ad for his Senate campaign, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio never says he’s a Democrat.
What we’re hearing: Democratic strategists are advising candidates in states like these to refrain from “fancy” language, and focus on populist economic policies.
- Several consultants insisted that Democratic policies — on labor rights, broadband, climate and infrastructure — are popular in rural areas. It’s the messaging that’s causing heartburn.
Case in point: In Montana, where Republicans have held the state’s only U.S. House seat since 1997, Democrat Monica Tranel is seeking a second seat Montana is picking up from new census results. Her ad declares: “So many people I grew up with don’t vote for Democrats anymore.”
- “They feel like Democrats look down on rural America,” she says.
Where on earth do rural Americans get the idea that Democrats look down on them? Maybe it’s because they do, as illustrated in this now famous clip of never-Trumper Rick Wilson yukking it up with CNN’s Don Lemon over those dumb rubes in flyover country.
This is one of the most offensive segments I’ve seen in a while.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) January 28, 2020
Now let’s take a look at the ads mentioned in the Axios article. First up is Tim Ryan of Ohio. This ad is all about family, jobs, workers, the economy, football, and imagery straight out of middle America. No mentions of BLM, defunding police or the Democratic party.
I'm running for U.S. Senate to fight like hell to cut workers in on the deal. pic.twitter.com/O1hkLdS1up
— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) April 26, 2021
Monica Tranel is running in Montana. Her ad says explicitly that she is a Democrat, but the ad is all about hard work, family, farms and ranchers, sports, achievement, and on and on. She also claims Democrats are the party of the middle class. This could easily be changed into an ad for a pro-Trump Republican.
I’m Monica Tranel. A two time Olympian & mother of three who has spent the last 20 years fighting for Main Street Montana. Today, I’m launching my campaign for Montana’s NEW Congressional seat to bring a strong Montana voice to the U.S. House and fight for all Montanans. Join me:
— Monica Tranel (@MonicaTranel) July 7, 2021
Democrats are really hoping no one remembers anything from the last two years. Funny how none of them are highlighting riots and burning cities in their ads.
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