Democrats running for elected office in the House and Senate from rural America are starting to depart from using party identification in their ads in hopes of attracting more voters.
This means many candidates for office are running against the platform of their own party, according to Axios. Since the 2020 election, the Democrats in both chambers of Congress have had a wafer-thin majority, and the Republicans are looking to overtake them in the fast-approaching midterms next year.
Since former President Donald Trump talked about rural Americans throughout his entire presidency and on the campaign trail, Democrats in those places now feel “reflexively distrustful of progressive solutions to everything from the pandemic to infrastructure.”
Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan (OH), running for one of Ohio’s Senate seats, released a campaign ad roughly three minutes long. The Democrat did not mention his party affiliation once.
According to the report, Democrat strategists from rural states have advised the candidates to avoid using “fancy” language and to 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,” the report added.
Democrat candidate Monica Tranel is looking to pick up the new congressional seat in Montana next year. However, Tranel, in her ad, declared: “So many people I grew up with don’t vote for Democrats anymore.”
She also said, “They feel like Democrats look down on rural America.” Montana’s only congressional seat has gone to a Republican since 1997.
Zac McCrary, a Democrat pollster and partner at ALG Research, told Axios, the recent moves made by President Joe Biden on “infrastructure” and the “child tax credit” are “consistent with traditional, economic, Democratic populism that has real currency in rural areas.”
However, he also mentioned that candidates in vulnerable districts “need to have an answer to the question: What makes you different from a lot of the other Democrats?”
The report added that some Democrats in leadership have always warned that using certain language only hurts candidates. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has discouraged from using “defund the police.”