Democrats face skeptics in rural Midwest

Vince Coglianese Contributor
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WILLISTON, N.D.—Cliff Wehrman has a new Dodge pickup and the remnants of a tan from a Mexican beach vacation.

Sluggish economy? Not around here.

In the windswept northwestern corner of North Dakota, an oil boom has pushed the local economy into overdrive. People are pouring in for jobs, with home builders pulling double shifts.

Fat wallets should bode well for incumbents. But Mr. Wehrman, who supported Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy in 2008, says he wants the lawmaker gone.

“I’m disgusted with the entire party,” said Mr. Wehrman, a 58-year-old local who helps oil companies lease property for drilling. He is unhappy about government bailouts and the stimulus, saying, “Who do they think is going to pay for all this?”

His anger against incumbent Democrats echoes across the rural Midwest. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last month 55% of Midwesterners disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing, six percentage points higher than the rest of the U.S. And 66% of rural Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, five points more than U.S. voters as a whole.

Full Story: Democrats Face Skeptics in Rural Midwest – WSJ.com