Washington Post DES MOINES — J.D. Scholten has gotten phone calls from former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke. He’s campaigned with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. He held a town hall with entrepreneur Andrew Yang and toured an ethanol plant with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The presidential candidates are eager to meet with Scholten, hoping he holds the key to a secret that bedevils Democrats: how to win rural voters, who seem to be firmly in President Donald Trump’s corner. Scholten, a former minor league baseball star, challenged GOP U.S. Rep. Steve King in Iowa last year, driving around in a beat-up motor home. He lost, but just barely, in a heavily conservative northwest Iowa area. Scholten tells Democrats the party is too focused on upscale urban voters. “We’re becoming the Whole Foods party, when we need to figure out how to win in Dollar General districts like mine,” he said. “You don’t have to win, but you should be able to compete.” That difficult message comes as Democrats face an increasingly clear crossroads: Do they spend time and resources pursuing rural voters, who often are socially and culturally at odds with the party’s increasingly liberal direction? Or do they double down… Read full this story
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