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Poll: NC’s Rural Voters Concerned About COVID-19 Response

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North Carolina is nearly twice as rural as the national average, according to Census data. (Adobe Stock)
North Carolina is nearly twice as rural as the national average, according to Census data. (Adobe Stock)
 By Nadia Ramlagan - Producer, Contact
July 31, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. - Three out of four rural voters in North Carolina and six other swing states are concerned about the country's handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.

The survey of more than seven thousand residents from RuralOrganizing.org found 54% of voters disapprove of the job that President Donald Trump is doing to curb the outbreak. Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org Matthew Hildreth said more rural residents are looking to their local and state health officials for information on the novel coronavirus.

"The voters are looking for leadership on COVID-19," said Hildreth. "And I think they're finding it at the local and state level, but they are not finding it at the federal level."

He added nearly three-quarters of rural voters in battleground states are concerned about the virus spreading at schools and universities, and 63% are concerned about the lack of widespread testing.

Sixty percent of those polled said they are concerned about social distancing measures' negative effects on the economy.

Hildreth said rural voters often are not committed to one party over another.

"They tend to pick the candidate that's speaking most to them," said Hildreth. "And so we've been seeing quite a bit of movement among rural voters in North Carolina especially."

He said North Carolina's rural voters will be pivotal in determining who controls the U.S. Senate this election cycle, noting the survey found 43% of rural residents say they support Democrat Cal Cunningham, while 42% are for Republican Thom Tillis.

Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has 47% of the rural vote and his opponent, Republican Dan Forest, has 43%.

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