Two former Banking Committee Dems launch project tied to 2020 voters

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WASHINGTON — Two former Senate Banking Committee Democrats are spearheading a project to help the party win back rural voters in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

Former Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who were key Democratic negotiators in the financial regulatory relief package that President Trump signed into law last year, on Thursday announced the launch of the One Country Project.

The project will analyze data on demographics and voter trends in rural areas and provide education to future leaders on how to best serve rural Americans.

“We’ve seen this erosion of support decimate Democrats in states that were once considered safely blue and take states Democrats are trying to put in play further off the map,” Heitkamp said in a press release. “While the party has given up on rural America, it cannot be more clear how Donald Trump has failed this part of the country. From jobs to health care to education — rural America is being left behind. One Country will reopen the dialogue with rural America, rebuilding trust, regaining support, and hold President Trump on accountable. It’s about time he is forced to defend his broken promises in the Heartland.”

Heitkamp and Donnelly were among a cohort of moderate Democrats that negotiated with Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, on a legislative package rolling back certain provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Heitkamp and Donnelly also received significant financial donations from the financial services industry compared to other Senate incumbents.

Yet they both faced tough re-election fights in 2018 in states Trump had won in 2016. Heitkamp lost her seat to Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who now serves on the Banking Committee. Donnelly lost his seat to Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind.

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