I have noted before that Dems have an opportunity to break this up, at least with some voters. Ponder this a moment:
But a new study of the Department of Interior’s economic effects in Idaho shows there are far more hunting guides, river rafters and others who cater to recreational users on these lands than there are miners and cattlemen.Recreation brings more jobs than livestock and mining. However, Red leaders are pretty tied into the livestock and mining industries, and in fact just think only of those industries. Remember this quote? "You've got to dig it out of the ground, you've got to grow it or you've got to cut it out of the forest," Otter said. There it is in a nutshell; mining, farming and ranching, and logging.
Recreation accounts for more than six times more jobs than grazing and timber and three times more than energy and minerals.
Who do you think are getting those jobs in recreation? Well, if the percentages hold, about 65% are going to Reds. And who do you think are being guided, or traveling out into the woods to hunt or fish? Again, lots of Red voters. But for those voters, their interests clash with those of the miners, ranchers and loggers. Ever been run off BLM land by some rancher who acts as if he owns it? I have, and so has pretty much anyone who spends much time on or crossing BLM land.
To finally get to the point, Dems ought to very publicly align themselves with those recreation interests, and with recreationists who want public access to public lands. I think it's entirely safe to side with recreationists over miners, loggers and ranchers. Miners and loggers perhaps used to vote Blue, but obviously no longer. Dems have lost N. Idaho.
Don't approach this from an environmental viewpoint, but from a jobs and access viewpoint. If Dems start talking about ensuring that hunters have access and opportunity for a quality outdoors experience, perhaps some of those Red voters might finally take a look at Dem policies and find that voting Blue might actually be in their own best interests.