With 90 days until the election the latest Focus on Rural America poll shows Biden has the momentum to beat Trump in the rural Heartland. 

The Focus on Rural America poll was conducted by David Binder Research in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin using the same methodology that predicted Pete Buttigieg would win the Iowa Caucus. The online poll via email and text to web surveyed 800 rural voters, 200 in each battleground state.


The survey shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a 52-41 lead over President Trump across these four states, with 6 percent saying they are undecided at this juncture. This includes 48 percent who say that they will definitely vote for Biden, compared with 34 percent who say they will definitely vote for Trump.

Biden currently leads Trump in each of the four states surveyed, with his largest lead coming in Minnesota (54-36).

Specifically, voters in these four states give Biden the greatest advantage over Trump in the areas of listening to the experts, race relations, bringing the country together, and providing leadership. In addition, 56 percent of voters believe that Biden would be better than Trump at responding to the Coronavirus.


 Biden’s lead comes as 54 percent of likely voters across these four states say they feel more negatively about Trump than they did when he was running for election in 2016. That’s nearly twice as many as the percent saying they feel more positively about Trump (28%). 

In explaining what has made them more negative toward Trump, voters in rural parts of the state offer a range of reasons, with many pointing out that Trump seems to have trouble telling the truth. One conservative voter in rural Michigan explains that “Trump is not truthful. He blames everyone else and does not take credit for his mistakes.” Several also point out that Trump’s divisive behavior is the major factor causing them to have become more negative toward him. One moderate Republican in rural Minnesota explains that “his personal attacks on people … he does not unite, he divides. He goes out of his way to create hatred for certain people and groups of people.” 

Overall, 58 percent of voters in these states disapprove of the job that Trump is doing as President, including a majority of voters in each of these states. A majority in each state also believes that Trump typically puts his interests and his reelection before the interests of the American people.

When presented with a list of concerns that have been expressed about President Trump, voters express the most concern over the President “continually using Twitter to lash out at perceived opponents, whether it be Democrats, the media, Republicans who have criticized him, or something he saw on TV.” In addition there is a great deal of concern over Trump’s handling of COVID-19, particularly how his mismanagement of the crisis has led to a surge of unemployment.

Additionally, voters in each state trust Bidens leadership in responding to the Coronavirus by a wide margin. 


When asked specifically who would do a better job for people living in small towns and rural America, a majority (51%) say Biden.

Voters give Biden the most significant advantage on understanding the values of rural America, and improving access to health care in rural areas. Majorities also believe that Biden would be better than Trump at supporting farmers and stabilizing markets for agriculture commodities, and being relatable to rural Americans.

The findings also point to an opportunity for Biden to bring rural America into the fold on climate solutions. Rural voters strongly support a role for farmers and rural communities as a solution to climate change and believe biofuels are vital for improving air quality and for human health. 


David Binder Research conducted an online survey of 800 likely November 2020 voters from July 30-31. The survey consisted of 200 interviews each in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Respondents were reached via text message using phone numbers associated with their voter registration. The margin of error for the entire survey is ± 3.5%