Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Rural-urban divide in the presidential election illustrated by primary and caucus voting

Much has been said about the increased rural/urban divide in politics and how it will affect this year's presidential election. Bill Bishop of the Daily Yonder looked at one measure of party identification and support, voting in primaries and caucuses, and found a big rural-urban disparity.

In rural counties, 5.7 million people voted in the Republican nominating process, compared to 3.3 million Democrats. In urban counties, 18.9 million Democrats voted, compared to 14.6 million Republicans, Bishop reports. Overall, about the same number of people voted Republican (31 million) and Democratic (30.3 million).

In the Republican primaries and caucuses 18.5 percent of all voters were from rural counties, compared to 10.8 percent in the Democratic process, Bishop writes. Overall, 54.7 percent of Americans live in large counties, but 62.4 percent of voters in the Democratic primary were from these counties, compared to 47.2 percent of Republican primary voters. (Yonder map: Primary voters by geography)

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