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This liberal think tank believes it has the key to winning the Senate

Given their inability to capitalize on moments of triumph, Democrats have embarked on an intriguing expedition to find out why the party failed the ballot so badly as it ousted President Donald Trump from office.

In the mix of explanations this week comes one of the most disastrous and targeted offers: an argument that the party will never regain majority status in the Senate unless it begins to take power. monopoly; mainly, Big Ag.

In a note obtained by The Daily Beast, officials from the Open Markets Institute, an upstart liberal economic think tank, argued that Democrats are doomed in rural communities until they begin to address consolidation. of power among agricultural enterprises.

Democrats have lamented the urban regrouping of their supporters for decades, but time and time again they have overlooked the key to reclaiming rural support: stopping the monopolies in agriculture, food processing and retailing ”, We read in the memo. “Without action now, the problem will only grow in the years to come, making it even more difficult to capture the Senate and solve the fundamental problems in the American economy and society.”

To some extent, the memo reads like other election postmortems: an effort to shape the narrative around major items on a group’s agenda. Open Markets has been at the forefront of warning against the concentration of power in many sectors and industries, and not just in agriculture.

But while other groups and think tanks have used broad brushes to describe why Republicans have managed to win back House seats (when they were supposed to lose them) and likely retain control of the Senate, the synopsis of Open Markets has an undeniable foundation. Trump and the GOP had resounding success in rural America, further improving their remarkable performance in 2016. According to analysis by Decision Desk HQ, voters in less urban counties have voted for Trump by a margin of 35 points this cycle, which was 3 percentage points more than four years ago.

Indeed, the president’s ability to reduce participation in some of the less populated counties nearly won him a second term. And Democrats’ inability to win in rural states threatens to confine the party to long-term minority status in the Senate.

Open Market’s prescription for this is to promote broader competition in a variety of industries – from meat packaging to dairy farms – and to improve workplace safety laws. With the Justice Department using its antitrust division to bring major agribusiness lawsuits, the Federal Trade Commission issuing rules to help small food businesses access key markets and the Department of Agriculture taking various Measures, he says, Democrats could adopt a populist platform that appeals to minority voters (who often take on menial farm jobs) and helps trim the GOP’s advantage among rural white voters.

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