The presidential candidates talk about tractors and farms and the importance of rural life — they just aren’t spending much time in these places.
At the Patchwork Nation site over at the Christian Science Monitor, Jim Gimpel has been counting the number of stops the candidates have been making in the various kinds of American communities. From February through the third week in April, Gimpel reports, none of the three remaining candidates has set foot in what he calls “Tractor Country.” For comparison, 34 percent of Barack Obama’s campaign stops have been in the “Monied ‘Burbs.” (It was 25 percent for Hillary Clinton and 27 percent for John McCain.)
Gimpel wrote: “Seldom do we stop to consider just how marginalized these rural and small-town voters have become in contemporary campaign politics. They don’t cast many votes (our estimate is 3 percent), they don’t have much money to contribute, and appearances in these locations must not generate many rating points. For major campaigns, apparently, this means those places just aren’t worth much ““ certainly not after Iowa, anyway.”