Opinion | Politics

Mark Trahant: Indian voters are invisible in election year polls

"American Indians and Alaska Natives don’t count. Oh, sure, after Election Day, in a few counties, states and regions, there will be accounts about how Native American voters tipped the balance. A good story. Accurate. One I have written. Many times.

But if you want to look for where Indian country stands, right now, right this minute, there’s nary a clue. Indian country is invisible.

Last week, for example, a new poll was published by the Center for Rural Strategies about rural voters in nine swing states. There was some really fascinating stuff. Question: “Do you or anyone in your immediate family generate personal income from farming, ranching or agriculture?” Only 7 percent said more than half and 13 percent said less than half. While 77 percent answered no. Remember this is a poll of rural people. Forty-three percent owned guns (and 9 percent owned ten or more guns). Only ten percent knew someone who “you believe” is in this country without documentation. And nearly 81 percent know someone who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan and a third had a family member who is serving or has served.

But what about American Indians in those swing states? (I’d really like to know about Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado.) C’mon, those of us who live on reservations are rural, right?"

Get the Story:
Mark Trahant: Invisible in the Polls – Why Indians Don’t Count (Indian Country Today 9/27)

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