"The poll documents a continuing -- in fact, accelerating -- collapse of support for President Obama among rural voters," Bill Bishop of the Daily Yonder reports. Rural voters were "staunchly Republican" in 2000 and 2004, when George W. Bush won the rural vote by almost 20 points. Obama lost the rural vote in 13 swing states in 2008 by just a little more than 2 percentage points, Bishop writes. North Star Opinion Research's Dan Judy told Bishop the September poll showed Romney was "under-performing" among rural voters, but now that he's surged ahead, Judy said he thinks "it's fair to say his lead among these rural voters is what's helping him in swing states overall."
The poll asked which candidate would do a better job handling a range of issues, from the economy to medicare. "Voters thought Romney would do a better job than Obama in addressing every issue -- often by enormous margins," Bishop reports. Judy told Bishop he expects these margins to stand through the election because rural voters have "innate conservatism" that will push them to vote Republican. (Read more)