Real-estate developer and TV personality Donald Trump won the state, the rural vote, and apparently the Republican nomination Tuesday in Indiana’s primary.
Trump won his contest by about 183,000 votes over second-place finisher Ted Cruz. Though Trump’s support grew modestly as voters became more rural, his margins didn’t need any help. He sealed the victory by winning metropolitan voters by a margin 123,000 votes, or about 15 percentage points, over Cruz.
On the Democratic side of the primary, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders stopped the trend we’ve seen in past primaries, where he’s proven more popular with rural than urban voters. In the Indiana primary his support was relatively stable across voters in large cities, small cities, and rural areas.
Sanders did best in counties with small cities (“micropolitan” counties, which are part of an area that has a town of between 10,000 and 50,000 residents). He won those counties by 8 points. He won in metropolitan counties and rural areas by about 5 and 4 points respectively.
In previous primaries like New York and Pennsylvania, Clinton has relied on large margins in urban areas to overwhelm Sanders’ better showing with voters in small cities and rural areas. But the numbers weren’t there for her in Indiana. She won only five of 44 metropolitan counties.
Sanders won 74 of the state’s 92 counties. His biggest competition came in counties along Indiana’s southern border, where the suburbs of Louisville and Cincinnati spill across state lines. Sanders also lost Lake County, which is part of the Chicago metropolitan area.
Voters in small cities and rural areas (nonmetropolitan counties) totaled about 390,000 or 22 percent of total votes in both primaries across the state. About 25 percent of Hoosiers who voted in the Republican primary were rural. About 16 percent of Democratic votes were cast in nonmetropolitan counties.