Dems improved in rural areas in midterms, says pollster

Democratic pollster Nancy Zdunkewicz said Friday that Democrats improved nationally among rural voters in the 2018 midterm contests. 

"There was actually some improvement in rural areas overall," Zdunkewicz told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

"Nationally, there was an improvement in the margins for Democrats in rural areas," she continued.  "The Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE base is not perfect. It's not perfectly solid. We've already started to chip away at it in this last election."

While midterm election results showed that Republicans remained dominant in most rural areas in the U.S., some races showed Democrats appeared to cut into rural areas in states like New York, Iowa, Maine and Pennsylvania. 

Democrats saw gains over 2016 in at least 54 districts where the share of households in rural areas was, at a minimum, 39 percent, according to a Reuters analysis. 

But many Democrats say there is plenty of work for the party to do in these areas. 

Outgoing Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill: 'Too many embarrassing uncles' in the Senate FEC votes to allow lawmakers to use campaign funds for personal cybersecurity McCaskil 'not sure' Sanders, Harris, Warren can win Missouri in 2020 MORE (D-Mo.), who lost her reelection, told NPR in an interview on Thursday that the party had failed "to gain enough trust with rural Americans." 

"This demand for purity, this looking down your nose at people who want to compromise, is a recipe for disaster for the Democrats," McCaskill said. 

— Julia Manchester