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Vilsack tells Democrats to pay attention to rural voters

Ag Secretary says excluding rural voices resulted in losses

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has a simple message for his colleagues in the Democratic Party: pay attention to voters in rural America.

“If the Democrats are interested in winning statewide races, winning presidential races, winning gubernatorial races (and) winning congressional seats, they can’t get crushed in rural areas,” Vilsack said, according to Bloomberg. “And what’s really frustrating is, they’ve got a pretty good message, if they delivered it.”

According to National Public Radio, 62 per cent of rural America voted Republican in the recent presidential election, compared to 34 per cent for Democrats.

In 2008 when President Obama was first elected, only 53 per cent of rural America voted Republican and 45 per cent supported the Democrats.

Vilsack said one of the main issues Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party faced during the recent election campaign is the ability to properly communicate with rural America.

“People in my party don’t know how to talk to folks in rural areas,” he said according to Bloomberg.

“It’s hard for us to articulate a message that crosses the different silos of a diverse party. We’ve got a message for this group, and that group, and this group, but if you’re not a part of that group, asking what’s in it for me, you don’t quite get it.”

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