Sen. Jon Tester: Democrats need to refocus messaging on rural America

Sen. Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, said Sunday his party needed to revamp its messaging strategy for rural Americans following dwindling support from those voters in last month’s midterm elections.

Mr Tester will be re-elected in 2024 – if he decides to run again – making him a potential contender on the battlefield when Democrats try to hold on to their majority in the Senate.

“We need to focus our message more on the things we’re doing for rural America,” Mr. Tester said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The infrastructure package is a perfect example of this. This is going to help rural America a lot when it comes to broadband, electrical distribution, roads and bridges.

“We haven’t talked about it from a rural perspective,” he added. “It has to be a concentrated effort, and we’re very bad at it. [messaging]. And we need to work on it and get that message out to rural America, so that rural America knows who’s fighting for them.

Exit polls in 2018 showed Democrats got 42% of rural Americans’ votes, compared to 56% for Republicans. Last month, those numbers for Democrats fell to 34%, while Republicans rose to 63%, though turnout was much lower among rural voters.


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