Rural America has long been associated with conservatism. Small towns tend to be older and whiter and they often have more military veterans. Those are all groups that lean Republican.
The surprising thing, according to Bishop’s analysis, is that Democrats were still managing to win and hold a lot of rural seats -– often by distancing themselves from the national party and downplaying the Democratic brand.
Bishop says Democrats have to do that because people in small towns see their party being defined by urban politicians.
“When Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are mentioned in these advertisements, they’re described as someone other than us -– politics now is about teams and it’s about tribes,” he said.