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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

3 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

A health care worker preparing a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine dose in New York City on Oct. 21. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the Food and Drug Administration Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

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