Rural Juror

Emma Goldberg brings to light some new thinking (NYT gift article) from scholars who are looking at patterns in rural American culture.

The Rethinking Rural conference was full of a different type of political insight. Mr. Jacobs, with the political scientist Dan Shea, conducted surveys of 10,000 rural voters, from Gambell, Alaska, to Lubec, Maine. The pair were struck by a commonality: Rural residents tend to focus less on their own economic circumstances and more on their community’s prosperity. Even individuals who are thriving are attuned to whether their community as a whole is being left behind by economic changes like automation or the decline of coal.

This is where I think a lot of people fall short in their analysis of rural voters. They tend to (rather condescendingly) focus on people voting against their interests,” assuming that people are mainly focused on their individual economic situation rather than their values or the overall health of their communities.

Made with in North Carolina
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