… By using Virginia’s own Mark Warner as an example. I watched Mark work the crowd of good ole boys at the Shad Planking in Tidewater Virginia, and it was the governor at his best. As Matt Bai explains, Dems don’t have to agree with rural voters on every issue, but they have to listen to them:
“Running for governor in 2001, Mr. Warner, a Harvard-trained lawyer who admitted he knew nothing about guns or Nascar, made it a priority to win over rural Virginians by essentially neutralizing cultural issues, so that he could talk about the economic concerns he really wanted to talk about. In some cases, that meant simply showing up; I remember accompanying Mr. Warner to the coal region’s fiddlers’ festival. In other cases, though, Mr. Warner’s strategy meant accepting compromises on core social issues.”
Virginia didn’t go blue in recent elections because of the liberal NoVA suburbs, as many national pundits might have you believe. Virginia has voted Dem recently because Virginia Dems know that it takes campaigning beyond the liberal NoVA suburbs to win.