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Our friends at the Carsey Institute have conducted an incredibly large poll within four groups of rural counties. Carsey interviewed those living in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields; the Kansas Great Plains; the ski resort area of Colorado; and the Mississippi Delta and “Black Belt” of Alabama. The purpose of the survey was to describe the variety of economies, attitudes and realities of rural life.
The survey found that the one thing people in these regions shared was a worry about jobs. Home values varied. So did educational attainment. But concern about a lack of job opportunities in these rural communities was a constant.
The role of religion varied across the regions. More Republicans lived in the Great Plains counties while the poorer counties in the Delta and Appalachia were more Democratic. A majority of those polled in all the regions knew someone serving in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.