Monday, April 19, 2004

Hix Nix Bush Tix*

President Bush is losing ground in farm country according to a poll in the Los Angeles Times.

SHERMAN COUNTY, Ore. — Like much of rural America, this isolated community south of the Columbia River Gorge is a place where people — like their parents before them — vote Republican when they pick their presidents. They went with George W. Bush four years ago. And most are likely to support him again this year.

But cracks have surfaced in President Bush’s once-solid rural constituency. From places like Sherman County to Montcalm County, Mich., and Mahoning County, Ohio, some Republicans are so concerned about crop prices and high unemployment that they’re considering voting Democratic for the first time.

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A recent Los Angeles Times poll showed that among rural voters, Bush leads Democrat John F. Kerry, 47% to 41%. But the president’s support has slipped — down from 55% in November — for reasons ranging from the troubled economy to growing dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq.

While chances are that Bush will win the rural vote, he’s going to have to win it by a landslide to offset the urban vote, and if he slips, that could be good news for Kerry and the Congress.

*This is an homage to the legendary Variety headline in their patented Hollywood shorthand, HIX NIX STIX FLIXS, which translates into “Rural People Take a Dim View of Motion Pictures That Depict Them As Clods,” an apparent reference to the Ma and Pa Kettle movies of the 1930’s and ’40’s.