In this fact sheet, authors Dante Scala and Kenneth Johnson examine voting data for nearly 9,000 rural residents to identify how voting patterns differ across rural areas comparing farm and recreational counties to those elsewhere in rural America. They also examine voting data from the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections for each rural county. Scala and Johnson report that rural America is not the undifferentiated Republican bastion depicted by commentators. While 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.

Publication Date

Summer 8-5-2015


National Fact Sheet No. 30


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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