Senator Jon Tester on Democrats and Rural Voters: 'Our message is really, really flawed'

Dec 16, 2020 Travel News

Senator Jon Tester on Democrats and Rural Voters: ‘Our message is really, really flawed’

I can get into the list of things that might be crazy about this president, but the truth is, rural people are more in touch with a millionaire in New York than with Democrats who hold national positions.

So that tells me that our message is really, really flawed, because I certainly don’t see it that way.

We don’t have – what do I mean – a well-designed way to get our message across using our entire caucus. So we need to do more. You can’t let Chuck Schumer talk about rural issues to rural people; it won’t sell. And frankly, I don’t know if you can ask Jon Tester to go talk to a bunch of rich people and tell them what to do.

Some Democrats believe they will never succeed in establishing a lasting majority in the Senate due to the nature of each state having two senators and the party’s struggles with rural voters. When you hear that, does it bother you?

Yes it does. Yes it does.

Why?

Because the problem isn’t that the country is biased against Democrats; the problem is, the Democrats haven’t done a very good job talking about what we believe in.

If there is one mistake that is made too often by people in the public service, is it that you walk into a room and who talks the most? The senator.

Now, some forums are what people want. But most of the time, if you’re in a town hall and you let people tell you what they think, let them tell you what’s going on – then search your mental database to see if there is. has something we’ve done to help fix this – so maybe you can have a conversation. But come in and say, “You’ve got to be thinking this, and that’s what I think is the right thing to think about,” that switch goes off.

In 2008, Barack Obama won 40% of the vote in many rural parts of America. Flash forward 12 years old and Joe Biden is in his 20s in some of those counties. At that time, 10 years ago, South Dakota had one Democratic Senator, North Dakota had two, Montana had two. What happened in about 10 years?