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Poll Shows Rural Battlegrounds Backing Romney
Capitol Public Radio ^ | September 24, 2012 | Howard Berkes

Posted on 09/24/2012 1:32:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Rural voters who helped elect President Obama four years ago are now keeping his challenger competitive in key states. A new survey shows they favor Republican Mitt Romney by 14 points, and support for Obama is eroding.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

The nation's smallest and most remote places are providing Mitt Romney's biggest margins in battleground states as the 2012 presidential race enters its final weeks.

In fact, rural counties are keeping Romney competitive in the states that are now up for grabs. That's what a new bipartisan survey indicates. The poll also finds that President Obama's rural support has plunged since 2008.

The telephone survey of 600 likely voters in rural counties in nine battleground states was conducted Sept. 15-18. A bipartisan polling team produced the survey for the Center for Rural Strategies, a Kentucky-based group trying to attract attention to rural issues.

The rural voters polled favored Romney by 14 points, giving him 54 percent. They said Romney would do a better job with the economy (54 percent), with rural issues (47 percent) and with sharing their values (52 percent). More than half are comfortable with Romney as commander in chief and with him keeping the nation safe and secure.

President Obama garnered 40 percent, a seven-point dive from rural battleground voting four years ago.

"Rural areas in this country are very tough for President Obama," says Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a polling firm for Democrats. Greenberg conducted the bipartisan poll and provided analysis.

"Obama's lead is opening up primarily in urban and suburban areas," Greenberg says. "It's all the more reason that Mitt Romney needs rural America because it's the only place where he's really strong."

Greenberg's pollsters found a rock-solid Romney supporter in Stevens Point, Wis., when 66-year-old Donald Young answered the phone.

"Romney has a business background," Young tells NPR. That's key for Young because he says he was forced to retire from his painting business when the economy soured.

"Romney will do something to create a friendly business climate, and [businesses] will open up and start hiring and developing," Young adds.

The economy also has a 2008 Obama supporter now ready to vote for Romney.

"I just thought we'd be in a lot better position here in the United States than we are," says 26-year-old Nicole Heeringa, a single mother of two who works in a candy store in Waupun, Wis.

"Not a lot has been done with our economy," Heeringa continues. "I just want the economy to get better."

Republican pollster and political consultant Glen Bolger supervised the rural battleground survey and also provided analysis. He says rural voters are "going back to their more traditional voting patterns."

Republicans were in charge in 2008, Bolger says, and rural voters joined most of the rest of the electorate in saying, " 'We need a change.' Now you've got the Democrats controlling the White House [and] Senate all four years and the House for two years. People are [again] saying, 'Well, that's not working. It's time for a change.' "

The poll indicates that Romney's rural support is weakest among women. Obama polled better than Romney on only one question: Who would do a better job of addressing the needs and concerns of women? The president scored five points better.

Some of the women who said they were committed to Romney admitted to being ambivalent in followup interviews with NPR.

Obama "is just more appealing," says Erin Jordan, a 24-year-old nurse from Gallipolis, Ohio. "Even doing things like going on late-night shows like Jimmy Fallon and doing those little rap things. ... It just makes him more approachable."

When Jordan thinks of Mitt Romney, "I picture my dad," she says. "My dad's not always firm in what he believes in politically, I guess."

But Romney may still get Jordan's vote because, as a nurse, she's troubled about changes in health care under Obama, and she's concerned about more change if he's re-elected.

Still, the volatility encourages Democratic pollster Greenberg.

"I actually think it's possible that Obama picks up more support in rural areas, which will just bolster a growing lead, frankly," she says.

Republican Bolger disagrees.

"This is a really polarized electorate that we've got in 2012. There's not a lot of movement," Bolger says. "I think it's going to be very difficult for the president to chip away at Mitt Romney's big rural advantage."

In fact, there isn't much rural support up for grabs if the new survey reflects reality. Only 2 percent of those surveyed are undecided or noncommittal. Four percent indicated solid support for Libertarian Gary Johnson or another candidate. Only 3 percent were soft or leaning when they said they preferred Romney or Obama.

Romney appears to have the rural margin he needs to be competitive in battleground states. And Obama has failed, it seems, to hold on to enough of the rural voters who helped him become president.

TOPICS: Campaign News; Polls
KEYWORDS: 2012; 2012polls; obama; polls; redzones; romney; rural; ruralvote

1 posted on 09/24/2012 1:32:25 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

>> “Obama’s lead is opening up primarily in urban and suburban areas”

Go ahead, you stupid out of touch urban/suburban douchebags. Re-elect that blue-lipped marxist son of a Kenyan monkey and Kansas dog. See what happens.

Do you like to eat every day? How much of your inflation-ravaged budget would you prefer to spend on food? 60%? 80%? Man, that’ll cut into your teevee-movie-videogame-ipad-barhopping-fashion money, won’t it? Moving home won’t help much ‘cause mommy and daddy will be hungry, too.

Actions have consequences. Think about it before you pull that lever.

2 posted on 09/24/2012 1:41:16 PM PDT by Nervous Tick ("You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
IMHO Romney is still not telling it like it is. But, okay. How about twenty-four hours before election s begin, Romney rains hell-fire down on Obama for what he has done, not done, failed to do, and plans to do. I mean a massive no-holds-barred denunciation of Obama. A massive angry attack with no time to reply!

My fear is that Obama has such a scorched-earth plan being written, as we speak. Be warned!

3 posted on 09/24/2012 1:44:36 PM PDT by Rapscallion (If Obama wins he will be an evil tyrant over America.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Rural people must deal with the realities of nature, and the "laws of nature." They seem to have a deep sense of the consequences of "eating your seed corn" or wasting money on useless gadgets that don't work.

By and large, they also know that a man who hasn't owned a field or plowed or planted a field in his life is not likely to know how to get a real big harvest when he tries it.

In other words, they may have tried a new hand on the farm, but if he frittered away his time at the fishin' hole or the golf course when he should have been working from daylight to dark like them, then he's not likely to get a second chance!

4 posted on 09/24/2012 1:48:23 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That’s cause we country folks are more likely to hold on to our guns and Bibles.

5 posted on 09/24/2012 2:16:43 PM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then.)
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To: Rapscallion

If he waits that late, no one would hear it.

6 posted on 09/24/2012 2:48:33 PM PDT by Ingtar (Everyone complains about the weather, but only Liberals try to legislate it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Even when you look at the election maps of New York and Massachusetts, the counties outside the NYC and Boston area go Republican.

7 posted on 09/24/2012 2:49:32 PM PDT by fso301
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To: fso301
In New York, you have a point. Some (very few) counties do vote R some of the time.

But Massachusetts counties outside of Boston routinely go Republican? I'd sure like to see some evidence of that, unfortunately none exists in the past several decades with the minor exceptions of Scott Brown's fluke win and the occasional vote for a leftist Governor like Bill Weld or some guy named Mitt.

Western Mass. with all its little pinko college towns is as much a hotbed of radical leftist nutjobs as Cambridge or Chelsea or anywhere else near Boston.

8 posted on 09/24/2012 3:00:22 PM PDT by PermaRag (If Trayvon had a father, he'd look just like Obama)
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To: PermaRag
In New York, you have a point. Some (very few) counties do vote R some of the time.

In 2000 and 2004, most New York Counties went Republican at the Presidential level.

But Massachusetts counties outside of Boston routinely go Republican? I'd sure like to see some evidence of that

Now you've got me. Based on the above map, I'm not sure why I was thinking the less densely populated Massachusetts counties went Republican?

9 posted on 09/24/2012 3:19:16 PM PDT by fso301
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To: Nervous Tick

No he doesn’t. Romney is winning the suburbs and the exurbs. Barry is winning some of the cities.

10 posted on 09/24/2012 11:24:03 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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