Darke Outlook for Democrats in Rural Ohio

The Washington Post has a really interesting article today about the voting habits in western Ohio and Darke County in particular.  They conclude that Darke County is as out of the hands of Democrats now as it was in 2004, when George W. Bush took over 70%.  Since its an article about Dems and rural strategy, the Post naturally has to quote my pal from The Hotline, Mudcat Saunders.  Mudcat has some good insight about how Dems don’t need to win there, but should at least cut their losses.

The article’s worth a read.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Democrats have been pummeled at the polls [here] since Ronald Reagan‘s presidency. The flat state highway takes you past acres and acres of brown farmland first, with wooden barns in the distance and hardly ever a political sign planted in a yard. Greenville is the seat of Darke County, which typically ranks first in the state in corn and soybean production.

[…]

“‘We don’t have to win these counties, but we have to lose them better,'” says John Hagner, the state party’s field and targeting director. The fall strategy: Win southeastern Ohio, compete in the small towns of the north and cut the losses in the exurban and rural counties, such as Darke.”

2004 Ohio Electoral Map (CNN.com)

2004 Ohio Electoral Map

2006 Gubernatorial Electoral Map (CNN.com)

2006 Gubernatorial Electoral Map

2008 Democratic Primary Electoral Map (New York Times)

2008 Democratic Primary Electoral Map

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