Red Rural, Blue Rural: Rural Does Not Always Equal Republican

Source: Dante J. Scala, Kenneth M. Johnson, University of New Hampshire, Carsey School of Public Policy, National Fact Sheet #30, Summer 2015

From the summary:
Political commentators routinely treat rural America as an undifferentiated bastion of strength for Republicans. In fact, rural America is a deceptively simple term describing a diverse collection of places encompassing nearly 75 percent of the U.S. land area and 50 million people. Voting trends in this vast area are far from monolithic. Republican presidential candidates have generally done well in rural America, but there are important enclaves of Democratic strength there as well. In “battleground” states, these rural differences may have a significant impact on tightly contested elections. …

Key Findings:
– Rural America is not the undifferentiated Republican bastion depicted by commentators.
– Republican presidential candidates do best in rural counties dominated by farming.
– Democratic presidential candidates do well in rural counties dominated by recreation.
– In “battleground” states, these rural differences may impact tightly contested elections. ….

RED RURAL, BLUE RURAL: RURAL DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL REPUBLICAN