Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

An article published by AP yesterday explores how the Democrat platform has produced an ever-growing toxic image to rural counties and towns. Although Democrats have not been a large part of the population in rural Pennsylvania as of late, AP explains that their numbers continue to dwindle. 

When asked, Democrat accountant Tim Holohan explained, “The hatred for Democrats is just unbelievable.” Holohan continued, “It feels like we’re on the run.” He even had his daughter remove a pro-Biden bumper sticker – an issue city-dwelling conservatives have dealt with for years now.

This toxic image is not unexpected. The Democrat platform openly and proudly purports policies that cater to the desires of their urban strongholds.

Oftentimes, these policies actively damage and hurt the blue-collar workers who reside in rural counties nationwide. Ranchers, farmers, and self-employed tradesmen struggle to justify voting for party candidates that support initiatives like the Green New Deal or an increase in EPA regulations that directly inhibit their ability to support their families.

This reflects the recent presidential and general elections. In 2008, Obama won 875 counties while Biden won only 527. According to AP, 260 of the 348 counties Democrats lost were rural. 

Biden also lost 105 rural counties in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, further contributing to the trend of rural counties rejecting the current Democratic party and the President.

A large contributor to Biden and the Democrats’ losses possibly track to Biden’s comments about phasing out fossil fuels, the Party’s stance on gun control, police defunding, and policies that outright ignore or mischaracterize the needs of the heart of the country.

Despite losing so many counties in 2020, Biden still won because of his overwhelming majority in urban areas. The 2020 election served only to widen the gap between urban and rural interests.

The article by AP was quick to link this trend among rural counties to the populace being overwhelmingly white. This, however, is not substantiated when the Rio Grande Valley in Texas is taken into consideration. The Rio Grande Valley on the southern border of Texas is 93% Latino/Hispanic. 

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According to Jim Henson, the director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas, the Republican presidential vote share in the Rio Grande Valley increased 13 points from 29% in 2016 to 42% in 2020, signaling a significant change from the historically Democrat chain of counties.

Joe Gutierrez, a rancher and oilfield construction company owner in Zapata County, told  NPR, “I think people are trying to wake the country up as to, you know what? Democrats don’t own us. You know, like, Joe Biden said,’ if you vote for Trump, you’re not Black.’ You know, you cannot put people in that situation. We’re not owned by nobody – no party.”

The comment by Gutierrez illustrates that the Democrats’ declining popularity nationwide cannot be attributed to race alone and their focus on race causes disillusionment in the blue-collar workers who prioritize family, culture, tradition, and work opportunities when considering who to vote for in the elections.

Democrats have the completely wrong strategy when it comes to winning over rural areas. From the southern border of Texas to rural Pennsylvania, voters are increasingly rejecting the Democrats because they refuse to consider, or outright ignore, the short-term and long-range implications of their policies in rural areas. Instead, they focus on pleasing their urban sycophants.

Should this trend hold, it will add to the already concerning outlook of the midterm elections for the Democrats. Rural America increasingly rejects the Democrat platform while urban America continually embraces it – a contrast that is sure to exacerbate the already monumental void between the power of metropolitan and rural interests.