Rural voters’ opinion on Biden’s first 60 days
A new report from One Country captures a snapshot of rural opinion on the first 60 days of the Biden administration.
RFD-TV’s Emily Buck sat down with a former Senator to get more information.
The One Country Project analyzed online conversations among rural voters in seven battleground states. One Country co-founder, former Senator Heidi Heitkamp says that the project is a way for the Democratic party to engage with rural communities.
“We think that this is an ongoing dialogue that we need to have, and this is our work trying to explain to the powers that be, especially in the administration, this is where rural voters are right now,” according to Heitkamp.
The report shows a mixed bag on reactions.
On the positive side, the President has enjoyed high approval for his response to the pandemic and vaccine rollout. Heitkamp says that voters also appreciate the President following through on a stimulus package.
“I think the fact that the stimulus doesn’t just go to certain places. You see people in rural America that actually, frequently, have lower per capita incomes actually seeing a lot of economic relief coming with that $1,400 dollar checks.”
On the negative side, rural voters are critical of the administration’s immigration policy.
“One thing that we saw over the last three cycles in campaigns is immigration being a bigger and bigger issue in rural places creating what people believe is instability and I think a lack of rule of law,” she explains. “Conservative rural America believes people should follow the law, if you’re coming into the country legally then that’s fine, but if you are coming in illegally that’s not fine.”
Heitkamp also says the administration’s energy policy is creating concerns about job security in rural America: “People think of rural America, they think it’s almost all exclusively agriculture. Mineral extraction is a big part of the economy of rural America, and with the rollback of the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, with more and more discussion on green energy, and phasing out on fossils-- I’m not saying people aren’t willing to accept those changes, I’m just saying it has created some instability.”
To improve public opinion, she says that it is important for policymakers to be engaged with rural voters and better communicate how legislation and policy will impact their lives.
For the full interview click HERE