Why Do Resentful Rural Americans Vote Republican? Many Feel Left Behind

If it seems like there’s a stark divide between rural and urban America when it comes to politics, that’s because there is.

Rural Americans are generally more conservative, voting Republican, whereas city-goers are more likely to be Democrats.

But why?

Experts often point to the fact that what they believe may determine where they live rather than the inverse. Less affluent, white, older, more religious, and less highly educated voters often have more socially conservative views that align with Republicans.

But in urban areas where people are exposed to younger, more racially diverse, more highly educated, and more affluent voters, they are often more socially liberal and vote along with Democrats.

Washington Post conducted research that determined that where people live has a significant impact on their politics – with rural voters caring most about “geographic inequity,” which is the concept that rural areas receive less than their fair share from the government, are ignored by politicians and are mocked in pop culture.

Many rural Americans resent how they’re perceived and believe it affects how the government treats them. This is why non-insiders like Donald Trump appeal so widely to these voters; he is seen as an outsider and non-establishment politician who harnesses the frustration of rural Americans.

Washington Post found in their study that rural resentment was among the most significant influences pushing people to vote Republican.