Rural Voter Poll

Our unique poll captures the issues and values most important to rural voters, as well as the information gap making it harder for many rural voters to take action on these issues. Learn more about ways to effectively engage these audiences.


Understanding Rural Attitudes

1,713 likely rural and small-town voters surveyed on a diversity of topics, with oversamples of Black, Latino/a, and Native American voters.

Created by:
Heartland Fund and Breakthrough Campaigns

May 2024

Make the Case for Rural Investment

Share the poll with funders to show the need to fund rural engagement programs.

Rural voters are ripe for additional outreach and education in this election: roughly one in four 18-29-year-olds were not contacted in recent elections, as well as one in five voters who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.

As you build your work plans, keep in mind the key findings about rural voters’ essential attitudes and top priorities. For the most effective messaging, consider engaging veterans, local law enforcement, farmers, and small business owners. Along with family and friends, these messengers rank among the most trusted for rural voters.

Lift up your Policy Priorities

The poll shows rural voters support the same top policy priorities as our grantees — in particular, rural voters are economic populists.

  • 57% of surveyed rural voters agree: “We should grow our economy by getting more money in the pockets of working people, not corporations.”
  • 76% would be more favorable to a leader who supports “requiring rich people and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes to invest in tools and opportunities for working people.”
  • 86% support banning junk fees.

Abortion Policy

Personal Freedom is Paramount

Rural and small-town people overwhelmingly believe in personal freedom from government interference. 74% believe abortion is a decision best left to women and their doctors, not politicians.

Agricultural Policy

Invest in Working Families, Not Giant Corporations

  • 88% support cracking down on meat processing monopolies and ensuring local businesses can compete
  • 87% support expanding broadband internet access to all communities in the United States. 87% believe in protecting our air, water, and natural resources from corporate and agricultural polluters and runoff
  • 62% agree that our government should invest more in clean energy, like wind and solar, to lower costs, support American energy independence, and create quality jobs that can’t be outsourced.

Housing Policy

Shared Concerns across Geography

Like our counterparts in urban and suburban places, rural people are concerned with rising housing costs.


Show the Real Rural

The poll is an opportunity to show who actually lives in our communities and what we care about. Make the case to reporters for the inclusion of small-town and rural communities in conversations about the most important issues facing the country. From local newspapers and radio to national outlets, Heartland Fund uses the poll as an advocacy tool and a way to attract media coverage.

Your donation makes resources like the Rural Poll a possibility, please donate today.