How Rural Voted On Tuesday

[imgbelt img=Pa10DemPrimary.jpg]There were differences in how rural and urban residents voted in Tuesday’s primary. They just weren’t what most people expected.


notes that Specter won where Barack Obama won in the 2008 Democratic primary (Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary)

Sestak, meanwhile, won the counties where Clinton had done best.

The Democratic senatorial primary in Arkansas was also more of a geographic contest than an ideological one. 

Liberal groups and unions were upset with incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln and encouraged an insurgent run by Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. The race ended with Lincoln barely edging Halter, but failing to reach 50%. The two will meet in a run-off in June.

Lincoln, cast as the conservative in the race, did best in Arkansas cities, where she won more than 51% of the vote. Halter, supported by the Netroots and labor, scored best in rural Arkansas. The Arkansas press figured out that this race didn’t have much to do with national politics or, which supported Halter. See a good summary of the local knowledge here. [img:AR10DemPrimary.jpg]

The biggest difference between rural and urban voters could be found in the Democratic senatorial primary in Kentucky. There the state’s Attorney General, Jack Conway, narrowly defeated Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo.

This was a Kentucky classic, a contest between a rich attorney from Louisville, the state’s largest city, and a doctor from Hazard, a small town in the state’s Appalachian coalfields.

That’s the way Mongiardo ran his campaign, according to Louisville Courier-Journal reporter Joseph Gerth. 

“Few issues separated the two candidates,” Gerth wrote. “But Mongiardo, a Hazard physician, succeeded in making the race a rural-vs.-urban, have-vs.-have-not battle against Conway, a millionaire lawyer from Louisville.”

And that’s the way the state voted. Conway won 54% of the vote in the cities, primarily Louisville, Lexington and the Cincinnati suburbs. But he won only 36% of the vote in rural Kentucky, where most of the votes were cast in the primary.

The results in the Kentucky Democratic primary were extraordinarily close. Midday Wednesday, Mongiardo asked for a recanvass of the state’s voting machines.[img:Ky10DPrimary.jpg]