Despite controlling the House, Senate, and the White House, it's not a good time to be a Democrat, and it's showing when it comes to race in rural America.
According to Axios, Democrats running for office outside of the big cities are quietly leaving their party affiliation out of their campaign ads in an attempt to distance themselves from what they see is a toxic brand.
“With control of the House and Senate on the bubble, many ambitious Democrats — from the South to the Midwest to the Rockies — are running against their own national party's image,” reported Axios.
Case in point, Tim Ryan in Ohio released a three-minute ad where he didn't mention being a Democrat a single time.
I'm running for U.S. Senate to fight like hell to cut workers in on the deal. pic.twitter.com/O1hkLdS1up
— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) April 26, 2021
In Montana where Monica Tranel is looking to pick up a seat being added thanks to the new census results, she actually does mention she's a Democrat but notes in her video that Democrats are stereotyped as looking down on rural Americans.
I’m Monica Tranel. A two time Olympian & mother of three who has spent the last 20 years fighting for Main Street Montana. Today, I’m launching my campaign for Montana’s NEW Congressional seat to bring a strong Montana voice to the U.S. House and fight for all Montanans. Join me:
— Monica Tranel (@MonicaTranel) July 7, 2021
But some stereotypes are true. Axios reported that Democrat strategists have advised candidates away from using “fancy” language and to focus more on populist economic policies in their videos. Besides, attempting to hide their party affiliation from voters is insulting on its own.
Moreover, for the better part of a year, Democrats focused on the demands from voters in big cities. More accurately, those who demand radical leftist policies be implemented such as “defunding the police,” a call to action many Democrats obeyed and suffered in popularity for. That's why strategists are telling Democrat candidates to hammer on messaging about labor rights, broadband, climate, and infrastructure, which are ideas that allegedly resonate with rural voters.
Getting over their own past messaging isn't the only hurdle in front of them. The other obstacle that they face is former President Donald Trump, or rather, the fact that Trump spent a lot of time talking to rural America and convincing them of his side of things. Democrats feel like they have to out-message his ghost now, which is actually a very astute observation.
This will be a difficult task with rural Republicans now carrying that same message as Democrats in the beltway continue to hammer the same extremist messages that turn rural voters off.
In the end, however, this still bodes ill for Democrats going into the midterm elections. If candidates aren't even willing to share their party affiliation with the people they're asking to vote for them due to the bad name the Democrat party has cast on every candidate in America, then what does that say about their chances.
Time will tell, and Republicans shouldn't take this as a signal to get lazy or let up. The best way to defeat Democrats is to make sure voters remember that things were better when they were in charge and Democrats have done everything to screw up the progress America has made in the prior four years under Trump.