MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Elections across the country on Tuesday give us a window into what’s coming in 2024.
And we’ve already seen President Joe Biden reaching out to rural voters with his Minnesota visit a week earlier.
Third-generation Dutch Creek Farms owner Brad Kluver hosted President Biden, so it came as little surprise when he told the crowd he was excited about the president’s plan like he is about his kids.
"I know their future is bright because of the work President Biden has started by reinvesting in rural America," Kluver said.
FOX 9 decided to go back to the Northfield area to see what his neighbors thought.
Farmers are not monolithic, so we heard a wide range of opinions. One farmer asked us what President Biden has done about gas prices and then said he never trusts anything Biden says.
But we also heard a lot of support for the big rural investment. David Legvold steered his combine across a cornfield not far from Dutch Creek, a week after the president’s visit.
"This field has not been plowed for 15 years," Legvold said as he drove.
Legvold focuses on conservation farming, so soybeans will replace corn next year to keep the soil healthy.
The educator-turned-farmer supports Biden’s plan to invest in climate-friendly agriculture, but he might get the biggest benefit from investments in rural broadband and other infrastructure.
"I like his plan because infrastructure in the country is sorely lacking," Legvold said.
Carleton College political scientist Dr. Steven Schier says rural voters — like those just outside Northfield, the land of cows, colleges, and contentment — have become solid Republican voters because of social issues.
He sees Biden barnstorming to win some back with these investments. But results from Tuesday’s election across the country hinted at another approach to 2024.
"I think Democrats will be stressing the abortion issue in 2024 because they perceive they had real success with that in 2023," Dr. Schier said. "A lot of highly educated voters, particularly highly educated women, view this as a top issue."
Schier pointed out that voter turnout is usually low in off-year elections, so Ohio’s vote supporting a right to abortion and Virginia’s Democratic domination may not actually tell us much about 2024.