The Wall Street Journal has a new poll out this morning that shows the devastating power of small towns for Democrats.
Barack Obama is beating John McCain in cities and suburbs — by margins of 7-8%. But in rural America, McCain leads by a whopping 20%.
That kind of landslide can tip the balance. So far in this race, it means that Obama is eking out a tie. The Journal’s poll puts Obama up by 1% nationally.
Those stunningly poor numbers come despite a huge effort by Obama, in money and time spent, trying to woo back rural voters.
Palin countered all of that.
The survey also shows McCain winning 49% of the blue collar vote, to Obama’s 40% – but my guess is that this line, too, reflects the profound rural tilt.
A huge number of those working-class guys (and women) are in small towns, where cultural loyalty — and race — trump the kind of issues Obama is pushing.