A CNN/ORC survey taken last week finds that Obama leads, though rural voters prefer the Republican candidates.
Among rural voters, President Obama is trailing the four top Republican contenders for the GOP nomination, according to a new poll by CNN/ORC.
The poll, released January 16, found that rural voters favored former Massachusettes governor Mitt Romney nearly 2 to 1 over the president. Texas Congressman Ron Paul also had a wide margin or popularity over Barack Obama among rural voters: 61% to the president’s 35%.
The poll, conducted with 1021 American adults January 11-12, asked respondents whom they’d vote for in matchups of the president versus Romney, Paul, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. (Voters were not polled about their preferences in a race between President Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.)
Nationwide, Obama was favored in each of the four hypothetical contests, but differences among rural and urban voters were striking.
Asked to choose between Obama and Romney, urban voters favored Obama 63% to 34%; rural voters favored Romney 63% to 32%. Similarly, given the choice between Obama and Ron Paul, urban voters preferred Obama 63% to 33%, while rural voters chose Congressman Paul 61% to 35%.
Information released with the poll Monday did not clarify how “rural,” “urban” and “suburban” voters were identified as such. (Often, people are asked if they live in urban, rural or suburban communities, giving the choice to the person polled.) The poll’s summary does note a fairly large range of sampling error for the category “rural voters”: plus or minus 6.5%.
Readers can find the complete summary of the CNN/ORC poll here.
In 2004, Barack Obama won the national election 53% to 46.5% over Republican Senator John McCain. Obama lost the rural vote to McCain, 43% to 56.2% but won by a wide margin in urban precincts. Urban voters far outnumber voters in exurban and rural areas.
According to the Daily Yonder’s definitions of rural/exurban/urban (based on U.S. Census figures for metro and non-metro counties), President Obama took 57% of the urban vote in 2004. In the latest CNN/ORC poll, President Obama was the clear choice among urban voters by even wider margins against all four of the top Republican candidates.