Presidential candidates Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and John Anderson all have made early pitches for the farm vote -- even though farmers constitute less than 3 percent of the US population. In phrases that might suggest a single author, the two 1980 major political party platforms, at least, agree that:
* ". . . Our nation's farmers are facing a time of hardship." (Democratic platform)
* ". . . farmers and ranchers [are on] the brink of disaster and the hardest times they have known since the Greap Depression." (Republic platform)
* "It is in the nation's long-run interest that returns to farmers keep pace with rising costs to ensure a fair return on investment." (Democratic platform)
* "We pledge an administration dedicated to restoring profitability to agriculture." (Democratic platform)
* "In no American workplace is there to be found greater productivity, cooperation, neighborly concern, creative use of applied science, information and relevant research, honesty, perserverance, hard work, and independence than on the farm and ranch." (Republican platform).