My favorite line of the story is a quote from the chair of the political science dept. at the University of North Dakota, Mark S. Jendrysik: "A lot of people look sort of askance at all the money that’s been spent in places like
Davey notes that Republicans hold most state constitutional offices, while North Dakota's two Senators and one congressperson are all Democrats. Again echoing that familiarity/lack of anonymity them, Davey writes of the U.S. congressional delegation from N.D, "People here know them. They bring money home to
Davey again quotes Prof. Jendrysik: “Even for a statewide political campaign, you have to get to the lutefisk feed *** Putting commercials on TV is not going to work. And there’s a feeling that you shouldn’t be doing the fund-raising, that it’s somehow corrupting."
OK, this sent me to find out, once and for all, what "lutefisk" is! In any event, the NYT story also reminded me of a post I saw on The Daily Yonder a while back. It listed the 50 rural counties that contributed the most money to Presidential campaigns in the third quarter of 2007. Not only was no North Dakota county on the list, many of the counties in the top 20 were not counties that I consider authentically rural. They include, for example, the counties that are home to Aspen, Colorado, Jackson, Wyoming, Nantucket and Edgartown, Massachusetts, and Key West, Florida. But the list also included some places that are probably more traditionally rural, such as Jasper, Tennessee and Ada, Oklahoma.
Indeed, here's a plug for the Daily Yonder's coverage of the Presidential election in relation to rural places and issues. See their Racing for '08 archive.