USA TODAY takes a close look at Union County, Iowa to check in on rural voters. While rural voters are generally Republican, Union County, Iowa has been a bellwether and voted for the winner in the last 6 elections.
I don’t think the political debate is helping,” she said. “People just aren’t spending money.”
Here in Union County, it’s not hard to find people like Kretz who are weary of the Obama years. She plans to vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump in November because she thinks he’s better suited to address the needs of the average American than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
While not as scrutinized as the suburban and urban voting blocs, the rural vote is considered a key slice of the Republican base. And it has been reliably conservative in recent presidential elections.
This bloc will be crucial if Trump seeks to stack up electoral votes in swing states like Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin — states where rural dwellers make up a sizable chunk of the electorate (more than 30%).
The USA TODAY Network is spending time in eight counties in eight states, exploring the key electoral themes that could decide this fall’s election. Each week from now until the election, we will feature a different one.