Rural States Playing a Key Role in Election

Rural voters are playing a key role in this year’s election. Six rural states are still too close to call and could hold the key to reaching the final 270 electoral votes.

Arizona traditionally leans Republican, but pollsters have predicted a Biden win in the Grand Canyon state. Although there was a 90-mile parade in support of President Trump over the weekend, the Associated Press has called the race for Biden; even though some counties are still being counted.

Florida is usually a swing state in Presidential elections. Older generations had expressed discontent with President Trump’s Coronavirus response, but the largely Republican Cuban vote turned out in droves. Although Miami did end up going to Biden, it was not enough to overcome the Trump vote in rural areas.

Although North Carolina has voted red for the White House and Blue for State Executives, Obama did win them over in 2008. This year, the race comes down to the rural areas; leaning red with 95% of precincts reporting.

Looking at Michigan, Trump won by a little more than 10 thousand votes 4 years ago, flipping the state from blue to red. Governor Gretchen Whitmer imposed some of the strictest covid lockdown measures in the country which landed her in court and set up a bitter fight between her and Republicans. Knowing the importance of the state’s 16 electoral votes, Trump ended his campaign here both in 2016 and 2020. Right now this state is neck and neck. We are still waiting on 10% of the vote.

Pennsylvania has 20-electoral votes; the most of any uncalled state. A heavy focus this cycle has been on fracking, which accounts for tens of thousands of jobs in the state. Just north of Pittsburgh, Butler County, tends to be the “bluest blue-collar” area in the nation, but last Saturday more than 50-thousand people showed up at a Trump rally, and right now he appears to be leading the county. He’s also leading most of rural Pennsylvania, but urban Allegheny County took a break from counting overnight so we wait.

Lastly, Wisconsin, which is leading the nation in farm bankruptcies. Rural voters surprised the nation in 2016 by voting for Trump, but Biden is currently leading with 3/10 of a point or just over 20,000 votes.