Investing in Rural and Small-Town Voters

Voting trends show the importance of rural voters and inform effective strategies for funding rural civic engagement.

Guidance for strategic investment

Political analyst Mike Lux provides a state-by-state analysis and a prognosis for short and long-term governing power. Use this data to inform your philanthropic, civic engagement, and power-building strategies.

Created by:
Mike Lux for Rural Democracy Initiative

December 2021

The urgency to invest in rural and small-town voters

Learn about the data and historical trends of rural civic engagement.

  1. Stop the Insurrectionist Faction — We face a dangerous faction seeking to divide us with culture war messaging, mislead people with disinformation, and sabotage our institutions of governance. We must increase support for the rural-led groups engaging and mobilizing our communities to build bridges across the political spectrum and engage hard-working people in our civic institutions.
  2. Persuade Swing Voters — Rural and small-town voters are among the swingiest voters.
  3. Concentrated Political Power — Rural and small-town voters are disproportionately influential in electing the president and controlling the Senate.

State-by-state analysis

The report reviews voting trends and demographic shifts and sorts Senate races into six categories. It also highlights 12 states for rural and small-town investment.


Seeing rural

Rural communities look different from each other, and it’s essential to develop strategies unique to each community. The report identifies seven different kinds of non-metro counties

Previously purple or blue states

Making progress

Informed by our staff’s deep knowledge of civic engagement and the work of our grantees, the report identifies barriers and opportunities for rural work. Read the report for the “Top Ten challenges in non-metro organizing,” “What Works in non-metro America,” and “Our Theory of Change.”

Your donation makes resources like the Election Results Rural Map & Dashboard a possibility, please donate today.