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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Poll: Montana battleground voters are 'economic populists'

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024   

A new report by the Rural Democracy Initiative shows voters in key battleground states, including Montana, could play a significant role in the 2024 elections -- but only if the right messenger knocks on their door.

The survey interviewed more than 1,700 rural and small town voters in 10 battleground states.

Patrick Toomey, researcher and partner of Breakthrough Campaigns, said the voters consider themselves "economic populists" who support a progressive political agenda and think things could be better for them, but do not fall into the traditional rural voter stereotype.

"Rural voters do feel like things are getting worse for them and in their communities, economically," Toomey explained. "It's very clear that rural voters are not a cultural monolith, either."

Toomey pointed out despite the importance of rural America in what could be a close election, the report indicated many respondents said they have not been contacted by anyone in either political party.

The survey found support for raising the minimum wage, protecting the right to form a union, and making child care more affordable. Toomey added rural voters also have strong opinions on abortion.

"Rural voters are opposed to abortion bans," Toomey emphasized. "They have nuanced views around abortion itself, but three-quarters either support it or don't want the government interfering in something that should be left up to women and their doctors."

The poll found 15% of rural voters in swing states are unsure of who they will vote for, or if they'll vote at all in this year's election.

Disclosure: The Rural Democracy Initiative contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Health Issues, Rural/Farming, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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