Tuesday, November 04, 2008

McCain wins rural vote, gun vote, military vote

UPDATE: John McCain won 53 percent of America's rural vote in the presidential election, according to exit polls taken for national news organizations. Among voters in households where someone owns a gun, he won 62 percent; among those who have served in the military, 54 percent. Rural areas provide a disproportionate share of military recruits.

Pre-election polls indicated that the rural vote would probably not go as strongly for McCain as he needed, based on pre-election polls. In battleground states, where both candidates were advertising and campaigning, a poll taken Oct. 1-21 -- a time exposure, not a snapshot -- showed Obama leading among rural voters 46 percent to 45 percent. A September poll in the same states showed McCain with a rural lead of 10 points.

A GfK poll for The Associated Press Oct. 16-20 found McCain leading among rural voters by 18 percentage points, but that poll ran counter to other surveys at the time, as it showed Barack Obama leading only by 1 percentage point, 44 to 43.

McCain's margin in the survey approached the 20 percent margin President Bush enjoyed over John Kerry in 2004. "The 2004 race was starkly divided between rural and urban," Bill Bishop and Tim Murphy write in the Daily Yonder. "Kerry carried urban counties by 3.75 million votes," but Bush "won the nation's 2,049 rural counties by 4.1 million votes and exurban counties by 2.56 million." The Yonder's exurban counties are those that are in metropolitan statistical areas but have a high percentage of residents living outside cities. For its methodology, click here.

Rural counties had 17.4 percent of the nation's voters in 2004. The Yonder counts 530 exurban counties that in 2004 accounted for 9.2 percent of the vote. The 562 urban counties had 73.4 percent. That last figure includes many voters typically identified as suburban. "Bush won 61 percent of the exurban vote nationally and 59.2 percent of the rural vote," Bishop and Murphy report. "Kerry won 51.6 percent of the vote in the nation's urban counties." For the Yonder's report, which includes a state-by-state chart of the vote by category, click here.

No comments: