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Dems Surge in Poll of Rural Voters

A new poll by the Center for Rural Strategies, conducted 10/22-24, reports big gains for Democrats among rural voters. According to the CRS press release:

The poll of rural voters in 41 contested congressional districts found that likely voters preferred Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives by a margin of 13 points, 52 percent to 39 percent. In mid-September, the same population of voters was evenly split between the two parties at 45 percent each.

In contested Senate races in states with significant rural populations, rural voters preferred Democrats by 4 points, 47 to 43 percent, reversing the 4-point lead Republican Senate candidates held among rural voters in mid-September. But those results fall within the poll's margin of error.

Bill Greener, a Republican strategist and consultant on the poll, had this to say about the poll:

The numbers in this poll have to be disturbing to any Republican involved in the upcoming election...Republican success has relied on strong support from rural voters, and this survey indicates we don't have that support today.

Another consultant to the poll, Democrat Anna Greenberg, cited a "perfect storm" of issues benefitting Democrats, including the Iraq war, economic problems in rural communities and a "muddling of moral values" resulting from the Foley scandal/cover-up.