Can Dean's strategy turn rural Oregon blue?

Over at New Frames, Sid is talking about the growing movement in the Democratic Party that seeks to reconnect and rebuild in the rural parts of America - including rural Oregon.

Dean appeals well to the value of rugged individualism that is so prevalent in the western states, but at the same time he doesn't abandon the notion that government can make a difference in people's lives, particularly local government. ...

Dean thrives out here because people respond to his message: local control of government, social libertarianism, fiscal and personal responsibility, and an economic populism that puts a check on the Wal-Martization of our communities.

What does all this have to do with rural Oregon? Rural Oregonians are no different than rural Montanans who voted in Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer last fall despite Bush's landslide in the state. Schweitzer's message is no different than Dean's, even though Dean's first followers were anti-war urban liberals. Now that the dust has settled both urban and rural dwellers in the West are appreciating Dean's grassroots work because his goals don't put rural residents in conflict with urbanites. Instead, the western style that Dean seems to be so comfortable with is one that attempts to close the urban-rural divide. ...

I do believe that it's possible to win back rural voters in Oregon. If people in Wyoming and Montana are voting in progressive, conservation minded governors and legislators so can rural Oregonians.

Check it out - and discuss over at New Frames.


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