Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Will Hillary's Country Inroads Take Us Home?

Although no Democrat will likely win the majority of rural votes in a presidential election anytime soon, a new poll suggests that Hillary Clinton continues to show more strength outside of metropolitan areas than one might expect. Luckily, it's not an either/or proposition... because she's about as popular as President Obama in the urban areas as well.

These numbers might also help to explain her incredibly good overall poll results against prospective Republican candidates at this very early stage.

To clarify, these rural numbers are only "good" in a relative sense. For any Republican, they would be beyond horrendous, but for a Democrat running for president, they about as good as it gets.
In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 62% Big City counties said they had positive feelings about Obama versus 61% for Clinton. And in Urban Suburb counties, Obama also does a little better 50% positive for him versus 48% for Clinton. 
But out of those core urban areas, Ms. Clinton's advantage is her negatives are much lower as you can see on these charts... 
In rural conservative areas...64% have negative views of Obama, but only 48% have negative views of Clinton. And in the huge swath of counties known as Rural Middle America...53% have negative view of Mr. Obama, but only 40% have negative views of Clinton.
As of now, Clinton essentially retains Obama's positive numbers in the cities while throwing in the added bonus of noticeably lighter negative rural counterweights. And since Obama won twice...you do the math.

While we can't expect every bit of Hillary's current modest rural goodwill to last until Election Day, consider this: Republicans have been throwing everything at her for more than two decades and she's only become stronger and more popular in the process. The vast majority of her supporters...and dissenters...have got to be pretty baked-in with the electorate by now.

But even if a tough, close election only leaves her with a 5-10% gain in support from rural areas (as compared to Obama's 2012 showing), such an improvement could still easily tip the balance in a crucial swing state like Ohio or Florida to the Democrats. And if the election ends up being not-so-close, it might just help to bring over a nice surprise like Missouri or Kentucky...just to name a couple of states that the Clintons already won in back-to-back electoral landslides not so long ago.

Additionally, these rural numbers might also help to explain...this:


  1. I'm not really into country music, but that's a purdy song!

    1. I'm personally not into this style of music...or video. But I can't help but like the "we will rock you" stomp before the chorus. It sounds kinda cool. Plus, I assume it is meant to echo the '08 "HILL-A-RY" chant. If so, that's kinda clever.