I get this question all the time. You can fill the blank with any group or class.
How do we reach rural voters?
How do we reach Hispanic voters?
How do we reach Black voters? etc....
Our friend in rural North Carolina, Anderson Clayton tweeted about this yesterday.
She hit the nail on the head. This principal applies to any group of voters, no matter where they are, but it is especially true with rural voters and minority communities in rural areas. (They really do exist out here. Rural ≠ White)
The way you reach rural and minority voters is coming to them, in person. This is something only the candidate can do. She can have help, but no one can do this for her. She has to build long term relationships. It is not enough to come once or twice during the political season. You have to start years in advance of any win you hope to achieve knocking on doors, visiting churches, going to barbeques, meeting with groups of people, visiting coffee shops, hanging out at the cotton gin, livestock auction and rodeo, being at Cinco de Mayo the list goes on and on. Rural voters have to be courted. For the most part they want to know who they are voting for, to look you in the eye, and gauge your character. It takes quantity time. You can't get by on surrogates.
This is why almost no one does it. Even most Republicans don't do it, but they don't need to right now. Democrats do. It is hard and tiring work. You can't do it in one election cycle. The successful Democratic candidate needs to plan on at least four to eight years of planning and effort. Unless and until Democratic candidates are willing to commit to this level of effort, we will never make enough inroads in rural Texas to overcome the Republican advantage and win state or even district wide. There are maybe one or two statewide candidates that understand this and, so far fewer than that who are willing to do what it takes.
The 134's only chance for the future then is strong local candidates. It is crucial not just to elect local Democratic officials, but to have local folks on the ballot to carry statewide candidates over the line out here on local coattails. This is why getting people who are dedicated long term to their local community to run as Democrats locally is so important to our long term strategy.