Ed Andrieski / AP

A new WashPost/Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed a telling truth about Americans: those living in rural areas are concerned about the economy, but they're more worried about the country's shifting culture and demographics.

Shot: "Rural residents are nearly three times as likely (42 percent) as people in cities (16 percent) to say that immigrants are a burden on the country," WashPost notes.

Chaser: "Rural voters who lament their community's job prospects report supporting Trump by 14 percentage points more than Clinton, but Trump's support was about twice that margin — 30 points — among voters who say their community's job opportunities are excellent or good."

Why it matters: Many have thought that economic concerns among rural Americans with fewer job opportunities drove them to elect Trump. This poll challenges that, highlighting their deeper concerns are about accepting diversity, particularly immigrants, and feeling like the federal government favors urban Americans.

What they're saying: "They're not paying taxes like Americans are. They're getting stuff handed to them," said Larry E. Redding, a retired canning factory employee, to WashPost. "Free rent, and they're driving better vehicles than I'm driving and everything else."

Bottom line: The unemployment rate in rural areas is only slightly worse than in urban areas (5.3% to 4.8%, respectively), yet a shrinking workforce and low wages keep many rural residents living in poverty. Those economic worries seem to be projected onto urban residents, particularly minorities and those with "a pretty liberal opinion," according to one poll respondent.

  • 56% of rural residents believe the government disproportionately helps urban residents
  • Rural whites are 14 percentage points less likely to say they think "blacks and Hispanics losing out because of preferences for whites" is a bigger issue than the reverse.
  • 78% of Republicans in rural areas said they believe Christian values are under attack

The Trump effect, in one fascinating stat from the poll: 50% of rural residents said they believe Trump respects them, while 48% said he doesn't — this challenges the commonly held idea that Trump gives his base voters a sense of being relatable, divorced from the typical political elite in Washington.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!