Republicans have historically embraced small-town Texas. Now, Democrats are catching up
, 2022-10-31 08:00:00,
A park in Snyder, Texas, was abuzz on a recent fall day. Kids were playing in a little league game, and a disc golf tournament was underway in the town about an hour and a half southeast of Lubbock, population 11,000.
Jeremy Levitt watched the activities unfold while he discussed his priorities heading into the November election.
“Freedom,” Levitt said. “That’s basically it. Democrats want to take it, Republicans want to give it.”
Republicans have long courted voters like Levitt and the other 3 million people who live in rural parts of the state. But Democrats are starting to catch up. This year, Democratic candidates including gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke have visited towns like Snyder, attempting to court the so-called rural vote.
Whether their efforts to convince Republican strongholds like Snyder to vote blue remains to be seen. Despite an active local Democratic party, about 85% of voters in Snyder cast a ballot for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
Levitt said he was voting for incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott because of his stance on issues like immigration and the economy.
“I don’t want Texas to turn blue at all,” Levitt said. “We’re red for a reason.”
Tom and Jane Gibbins moved to Snyder over the summer. They said they’re voting red again this year because they’re unhappy with the way Democrats have controlled the nation.
“I want to take care of America, and it’s really fallen down this last time,” Jane Gibbins said. “Big time.”
The couple agreed that immigration and crime were their top concerns.
Drew Landry, a political scientist at South Plains College, said that’s why Republicans are focusing on those issues.
“If you want to put a stop to those things, you have to vote for us,” is the message Republicans are sending, Landry said. “And so they’re going into Snyder, they’re going into Big Spring, and they’re making that particular case.”
During a recent campaign stop in Fredericksburg, a city of about 11,000 people in central Texas, O’Rourke avoided disparaging the Abbott supporters who were heckling him outside.
“Lest we be annoyed or judge these Abbott people….let’s have a little bit of sympathy,” he told his crowd of supporters. “Their candidate never shows up to talk to them.”
Almost 80 percent of the voters in Gillespie County, where Fredericksburg is located, voted for Trump in the 2020 election.
Scott Braddock is a political analyst…
To read the original article, go to Click here
Private Internet Access gives you unparalleled access to thousands of next-gen servers in over 83 countries and each US state. Your VPN experience will always be fast, smooth, and reliable.