The Role of Medicaid in Rural America

People in rural areas face unique challenges in health care coverage and access, including low density of providers and longer travel times to care, limited access to employer-sponsored coverage, and greater health care needs due to older age and lower income. Medicaid plays an important role in helping to address […] Read more »

Reaching Out to the Voters the Left Left Behind

The devastating recession that began at the end of 2007 and officially ended in June 2009 was the most severe downturn since World War II. The political, social and even medical consequences of this recession have been duly noted, but even so the depths of its effects are only now […] Read more »

Democrats burned by polling blind spot

As they investigate the forces behind the party’s stunning losses in November, Democrats are coming to a troubling conclusion. The party didn’t just lose among rural white voters on Election Day, it may have failed to capture them in its pre-election polling as well. Many pollsters and strategists believe that […] Read more »

This is why Democrats lose in ‘rural’ postindustrial America

… In my earlier post I suggested that voters in rural areas and small industrial towns are often two rather distinct demographic groups that should not be conflated. Yes, Democratic candidates lost votes in both postindustrial towns and their surrounding rural environs. But their losses were especially dramatic in the […] Read more »

‘Red’ America is an illusion. Postindustrial towns go for Democrats.

… Before the presidential election, I wrote an article pointing out that the homogeneity of “red” America is an illusion: Small and medium-size postindustrial U.S. towns routinely vote for Democrats — sometimes by very large margins. Few had noticed, because the largely rural counties in which these towns are located […] Read more »

Will rural voters who swung to Trump swing back?

Donald Trump was propelled to victory in Wisconsin by the most volatile part of its electorate — rural voters with a long history of big election swings, almost always against the party in the White House. That pattern could pose a special challenge to Republicans defending their power in 2018 […] Read more »

How nostalgia for white Christian America drove so many Americans to vote for Trump

… A yearning for an earlier time, especially prevalent in rural American towns and cities like Mount Airy, helped spur white evangelical Christians to vote overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. For these voters, the desire for change also could be viewed as a desire to change back, to what they perceive […] Read more »

Where Were Trump’s Votes? Where the Jobs Weren’t

Did the white working class vote its economic interests? … Yes, the economy has added millions of jobs since President Obama took office. Even manufacturing employment has recovered some of its losses. Still, less-educated white voters had a solid economic rationale for voting against the status quo — nearly all […] Read more »