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Connections: How can Democrats win more rural voters?

In the past forty years, the American political landscape has largely flipped. In 1980, Democrats won only nine out of the 100 highest income counties. Now they win a strong majority of the wealthiest areas. But Republicans dominate in rural America, and as Derek Thompson writes in a new piece for The Atlantic, big-city dominance has become a problem for Democrats. That's because the electoral rules make it very hard for Democrats to wield legislative power, despite winning a majority of voter support.

So how can Democrats win back some of the rural support they once held? What are the issues that will change votes and minds? Our guests discuss it:

  • Leslie Danks Burke, regional public advocate, and former candidate for New York State Senate
  • Shawn Hogan, former mayor of Hornell, and current chair of the Steuben County Democratic Committee
  • Jerri Lynn Sparks, former Congressional press secretary, and founder of the Riga Democratic Committee

*This is the first of two conversations on the political map; next we'll discuss how Republicans can start to win in larger cities again.<--break->

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.