The One Country Project recently released the second of three reports on President Biden’s first 100 days in office and how rural Americans view his policies. The report analyzed social media conversations in rural communities of seven different states. This critical information provides insight into how President Biden’s initial weeks are being perceived in rural states, what issues are front of mind, and whether rural Americans believe his first actions are having a positive impact or are failing to deliver.
Similar to the first report, the results of the second report are mixed. Rural Americans are pleased with some of Biden’s actions so far but remain concerned with the president’s progress on issues like immigration and jobs creation.
According to the report, people in rural America are pleased with President Biden’s actions to get the pandemic under control and make vaccines available to everyone. Biden is living up to his campaign promises of addressing the COVID-19 and getting vaccines in the arms of Americans, and rural Americans are noticing. COVID deaths are decreasing, while the number of people vaccinated is increasing.
In addition to the successful vaccination program, rural Americans are thrilled to be getting direct aid through the $1,400 stimulus checks and other programs that benefit their communities. People are taking to social media to applaud the president and Democrats in Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan despite extreme opposition from the GOP. The swift action from the administration showed that they understood the economic hardship people in rural communities have faced during the pandemic.
While rural America is happy with President Biden’s success in quelling the pandemic, they’re frustrated with his lack of movement on the other everyday issues that are impacting their lives – like job creation and immigration. For Biden to continue to be successful in the eyes of rural communities, he needs to tackle this perception head on.
The pandemic has hit rural communities especially hard. Farms lost millions of dollars in revenue, mom-and-pop businesses had to close their doors, and many factory workers lost their jobs. Month after month, as the economy has begun to reopen, we’ve seen the job market slowly rebound, but many people are still struggling a year into this crisis. Rural America wants President Biden and Congress focus on these issues.
Biden’s Build Back Better plan would create thousands of new jobs in rural America through funding for manufacturing, clean energy, and agriculture. The American Jobs Plan includes specific provisions to create new jobs in rural America, and it would be a boon to rural economies and working families.
Like I said after the first report One Country published, Biden has to show that he is acting on getting jobs to rural communities, and this report indicates rural America is ready for the American Jobs Plan – so long as President Biden can sell them on the benefits. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are working hard to pass legislation that will benefit everyone, including rural America. But they also have to show people how the policy in D.C. will affect their day-to-day lives in North Dakota. As the Biden administration continues to act on their agenda, they must listen to rural communities and tell Americans how their policies will benefit their lives. With over 66 days under his belt, our report shows Biden has a lot to be proud of, but he still has plenty of work to do.