With Republicans dominating elections in Iowa and delivering on economic growth and low unemployment, Democrats are struggling over their focus on urban centers and out-of-touch messaging. Some Democrats believe it could cost them the governor’s race before it even begins.
Over the weekend, the Des Moines Register reported that the Democratic party “is in tatters in rural Iowa” and that candidates have become “estranged from members of the rural middle class.”
“Battered by years of discordant messaging, ham-handed strategy and myopic focus on the state’s urban centers, the party’s candidates now face a steep climb as they try to build statewide coalitions for the 2018 election.”
“That reality was apparent in campaign swings by gubernatorial candidates Nate Boulton, Fred Hubbell and John Norris in recent weeks. From Independence in northeast Iowa to Bedford in the far southwest, local activists worried aloud that Democrats have become estranged from members of the rural middle class and distrusted on the core issues of economic opportunity that drive their votes.”
Just as the Des Moines Register was writing about Democrats’ being out-of-touch with rural voters, one of their leading candidates for governor, Fred Hubbell, proved the point.
Campaigning in rural Independence, Hubbell was asked what he would do for rural Iowa. He then reportedly “responded by talking about how he used to run Younkers in the 80s and had stores all across Iowa. Hubbel would visit the stores and speak with the customers and staff.”
Iowa Democrats’ message to rural voters: our candidate employed rural Iowans….in the Eighties.
Fred Hubbell’s out-of-touch gaffe shows exactly why Democrats are facing problems connecting with rural Iowans.