Repub Grip on Rural voters is in doubt for 2008.... except for cowardly Democrat's infinite ability to SNATCH DEFEAT FROMT THE JAWS OF VICTORY with their
corruptly complicity lobbyists/AIPAC/neo-con/defense-industry/bow-before-media-moguls agenda....
Note, too, another, in a similar NY Times article "YOUNG AMERICANS ARE LEANING LEFT" - which voter group (along with Rural voters) the damn cowering Democrats WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO ALIENATE by election time, November 2008)...
Young Americans Are Leaning Left, New Poll Finds
By Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee
June 27, 2007
Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll. The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.
Republican Grip on Rural America in Doubt for '08
By Greg Giroux,
June 26, 2007
Although the 2004 presidential election was relatively close, those color-coded maps of voter preference showed most of the nation as a sea of Republican “red” — a graphic representation of President George W. Bush’s dominance in the sprawling but sparsely populated rural areas of the United States.
That was then. But in the past three years, Bush’s standing in rural America has slipped — raising questions whether the 2008 nominee of his Republican Party will be able to repeat the dominance Bush enjoyed in those regions in his 2000 and 2004 presidential victories.
If next year’s Democratic nominee were able to make inroads in normally conservative-leaning rural areas, it would seriously compromise the Republican Party’s efforts to win a third consecutive presidential election — and hinder its attempts to reclaim control of one or both chambers of Congress, which the GOP lost in a 2006 electoral debacle.
The possibility that rural America could be a battleground sector in the 2008 election was a major finding of a bipartisan poll sponsored by the Center for Rural Strategies and conducted recently by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in consultation with the Republican media firm Greener and Hook.
The survey’s good news for Democrats included a finding that 52 percent of rural respondents disapprove of President Bush’s job performance, compared with 44 percent who approve.
That suggests that Bush is actually somewhat less unpopular in rural areas than in the nation at large, where roughly two-thirds of the respondents in a series of recent polls disapproved of how he is handling his job.
Yet Bush’s rural dropoff has arguably been at least as steep: While the president won re-election over Democrat John Kerry by a national margin of just more than 2 percentage points, rural respondents favored him by 19 percentage points in 2004.
The survey found that rural voters prefer an unnamed Democratic presidential candidate over a Republican candidate by 46 percent to 43 percent. A Democratic congressional candidate leads a Republican on a generic ballot test by 46 percent to 44 percent. And survey respondents, by a 45 percent to 33 percent margin, say that Democrats have done a better job than Republicans in paying attention to “rural issues.”
The Iraq war is a major issue of concern in rural America, as it is in non-rural areas. According to the survey, 25 percent identified the Iraq war as the issue they think Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress should be paying the most attention.
Yet rural America is not as hostile to the Bush administration on its Iraq policy as are suburban or urban voters.
“Both Democrats and Republicans will need to navigate their approach to the war carefully in rural America,” Democratic consultant Anna Greenberg and Republican consultant William Greener wrote in a memorandum that accompanied the poll data.
Survey respondents also identified illegal immigration (12 percent) and energy and gas prices (12 percent) as among the most difficult issues they want policymakers to tackle. Many rural communities lack access to basic health care, which they also rate as a top priority.
One potential advantage for Republicans is that rural America by and large is socially conservative. Rural residents report a higher degree of gun ownership than non-rural areas, and they resist efforts to restrict gun rights. This helped Bush in 2000 and 2004.
When survey respondents were read descriptions of two unnamed presidential candidates — a Democrat who supports redploying troops from Iraq and backs abortion rights and civil unions for same-sex couples and a Republican who takes the opposite positions — the Republican candidate was preferred by a margin of 54 percent to 39 percent.
“Values matter here and, in fact, voters prefer to choose a candidate for president committed to ‘family values’ than a candidate who will end the war in Iraq,” the memo said. “Republicans still have an opportunity to revive the conservative instincts of this region and reclaim their lost base.”
Democratic strategists want economic issues to trump social issues in rural America, and the survey showed that the region is anxious about its economic future. Rural voters by and large see suburbs and cities benefiting far more from national economic growth than they are. Some Democratic candidates — even liberal ones — have sometimes prospered in rural areas by echoing populist themes that call attention to this disparity.
“Rural voters will weigh both economics and values in making their decisions in the next year and a half,” Greenberg and Greener wrote. “The degree to which they stress one more than the other could well determine the outcome.”
© 2006 Congressional Quarterly