Opinion | Biden Has Already Done More for Rural America Than Trump Ever Did

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By Robert Leonard

Mr. Leonard, the author of “Deep Midwest: Midwestern Exploration,” has written extensively about the politics and culture of Iowa and the Midwest.

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — In 2020, Donald Trump won this state, and its governor and two U.S. senators are Republicans. Just one of Iowa’s four House representatives is a Democrat, and it has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 2012.

Yet there was President Biden with our one Democratic representative, Cindy Axne, in Menlo (population 345), about 45 miles west of Des Moines, to publicize a policy change about ethanol that could help ease gas prices and expand the rural economy. He was there even though he lost Menlo’s county, Guthrie, to Mr. Trump in 2020 by a whopping 36 percentage points.

In under two years in office, President Biden has done more for places like Guthrie County and other parts of rural America than Mr. Trump ever did. The rural economy is stronger, wages are higher and infrastructure projects are popping up all over.

Mr. Biden and his fellow Democrats are responsible for many of the improvements and for bringing back a sense of stability. For the midterms, they should run on these successes — the American Rescue Plan, the infrastructure bill. And they should run on why they have worked: Democrats should run on Democratic values.

Mr. Biden promised to be a president “for all Americans.” He stressed building things and working with Republicans — and he has succeeded, most prominently on the bipartisan infrastructure bill (supported by our Republican senator Chuck Grassley).

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