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Tags: hillary | clinton | rural | white | voters

WSJ: Hillary Clinton Faces Uphill Fight for White, Rural Voters

By    |   Sunday, 28 December 2014 10:22 PM EST

Hillary Clinton is outpolling her nearest Democratic rival by nearly 50 percent, but she still may not be able to lure back rural white voters, who have drifted away from the party, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Clinton's support, while still substantial, has dropped 10 points since the beginning of the year, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found a week ago.

Democrats have seen a Clinton candidacy as a way to get back those rural voters unhappy with President Barack Obama and perhaps bring some recently turned red states back into the blue fold.

One of those is Arkansas, where Clinton served as first lady for 12 years. But even there, the Journal found, swing voters aren't any more inclined to cast a vote for Clinton than for Obama.

"I'm mad at the Democratic Party, and I don’t see Hillary changing that," 61-year-old farmer Eddie Ciganek told the Journal. "Her thinking isn’t going to be very far off from President Obama’s thinking, and I don’t think they’re moving the country in the right direction."

Arkansas has been abandoning the Democratic Party, which just five years ago had both Senate seats, three of the state's four House seats and the governor's office, the Journal noted. November's midterms left the state without one statewide or federal officeholder.

That hasn't deterred Clinton's supporters. They believe she can win back rural whites, especially women.

Democratic pollster Geoff Garin told the Journal that Clinton "demonstrated a significant ability to not only win votes from working-class white women but to connect with them on a personal level" in the 2008 presidential primaries.

But the Journal noted that its own Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls have shown that support waning since then.

Clinton fares well against most Republicans in potential 2016 matchups. But 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush show the ability to beat her at this point. Romney has repeatedly said he won't run again. Bush recently announced he is forming an exploratory committee.

"Historically, there were places where Democrats could win by focusing on bread-and-butter economic issues, even among white voters who were really conservative on social issues, and that’s the group that Democrats have washed out with in the Obama era," Jay Barth, a professor at Hendrix College in Arkansas told the Journal.

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Politics
Hillary Clinton is outpolling her nearest Democratic rival by nearly 50 percent, but she still may not be able to lure back rural white voters, who have drifted away from the party, The Wall Street Journal reports.
hillary, clinton, rural, white, voters
384
2014-22-28
Sunday, 28 December 2014 10:22 PM
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