Opinion | Can Democrats Win in Rural America?

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To the Editor:

Re “In Rural Areas, Prospects Sink for Democrats” (front page, Nov. 7):

In theory, Democratic policies to benefit rural citizens should work. For example, take the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. Rural Americans are statistically older, sicker, heavier and poorer than their urban counterparts. Moreover, Covid killed rural patients at twice the rate of urban ones.

But it’s a fair debate whether those policies truly benefit the patients they are intended to help. It’s also an open question to what extent Democrats are willing to fight for these rural voters, especially as the party’s social priorities diverge from the average rural American’s. But in the handful of swing states that historically determine national elections, the decision to ignore rural voters comes at a high cost.

Mark E. Dornauer
Washington
The writer is a visiting fellow in health care and rural affairs at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.

To the Editor:

While reading “In Rural Areas, Prospects Sink for Democrats,” I could come to only one conclusion: We live in two irreconcilable countries. I can never accept these conservative rural voters’ positions on abortion rights, the Second Amendment, climate change, Black Lives Matter, racism, the Confederacy, gay rights, Donald Trump. Coronavirus vaccines are poison?

Where does this list end? A cultural civil war? Is Lincoln’s Union worth saving?

Stephen Anchin
Hewlett, N.Y.

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