Similar results are seen regarding the ruling about same-sex marriage, Thomas writes. Only 46 percent of rural Americans wanted the court to legalize gay marriage, compared to 57 percent overall, while 47 percent of rural Americans opposed the ruling, compared to 37 percent nationally.
When it comes to trade deals, 34 percent of Americans say free trade between the U.S. and foreign countries has hurt the U.S., while 29 percent say it has helped, Thomas writes. In rural areas, 50 percent say it has hurt, while only 18 percent say it has helped. The bill from the Republican-controlled Congress "not only gave President Barack Obama a legislative victory (rural Americans are regularly the least supportive of the president), it also paves the way for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal."
"Whoever wins the Republican nomination in 2016 is going to have to find a way to inspire the GOP's rural base while still trying to appeal to crucial, suburban swing voters," Thomas writes. "Weeks like this past one show how hard that may be." (Read more)