Both teams will know this going into the general; how do they play it?
Do the Democrats essentially cede predominantly White rural districts and focus on maximizing urban turnout and flipping the suburbs? Do they bring on a VP with rural expertise who can seriously address real issues of rural America and signal that rural America needs ladders too and that their economic hard times are both acknowledged and an item of high priority to attempt to address (attacking Trump’s area of greatest strength)?
What tactic could a Team Trump take to not lose the suburbs?
Hightower is old and hasn’t ever won a particularly high elective office. I like the idea of a prairie populist type who could actually refocus the Democratic party on rural issues, even if it doesn’t pay high dividends this year. Just not sure I can think of any individuals who wouldn’t be overwhelmed by negatives.
The op is more interested in the broader than the pros and cons of one specific left field VP speculation. So more broadly, would a VP with real rural cred be the tactic to go with (whoever you think that might be and assumiong they also bring enough else of substance)?
No. Ticket-balancing, if done at all, should be a regional thing. Maybe Clinton needs a Californian or a Coloradan, the West being the one part of the country which is not her home in any sense. But she doesn’t need a pol from a rural district, because such usually have little name-recognition, and because the Pubs have that market sewn up and she doesn’t need it to win.
So even more bird’s eye … your thought is to not bother trying to appeal to rural voters or bother with the issues they have that have validity (certainly not all of what they identify as their issues) because the GOP has that demographic sewn up and she does not need it, yes?
Instead then maximize urban turnout and win the suburbs more solidly?
I suspect that will be the tactic taken and will be a winning one.