As Iowa voters gather to caucus today, a new Agri-Pulse poll shows most farmers support Donald Trump for president.
In the most extensive poll of how U.S. farmers and ranchers plan to vote for president, respondents overwhelmingly say they’ll support a Republican, and 40 percent of those are Trump supporters. That compares to 15 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz, 11 percent for Sen. Marco Rubio and 10 percent for Ben Carson. The rest of the candidates in the field polled in single digits.
“It’s clear that GOP-leaning voters are very dissatisfied with the direction of the country, the way President Obama is doing his job and the way that Congress is doing its job. And there was not much variance by age or farm size, although a higher percentage of younger voters expressed dissatisfaction with how Congress is functioning,” said Agri-Pulse Editor and founder Sara Wyant. “They want to elect someone who can make major changes.”
Among farm country Democrats, almost 49 percent of voters are giving Hillary Clinton an edge, compared to 41 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with 10 percent undecided. Democrats or those leaning Democrat made up 19 percent of the 750 farmers and ranchers surveyed. About 70 percent identified as Republican or leaning Republican, and 12 percent as independent.
When asked to identify the one most important issue facing this country heading into the 2016 presidential election, “national security/terrorism” was the top choice for both Republicans and Democrats in the poll, with 19 percent nationally, followed by “moral values” at 14 percent, “immigration/ag labor” at almost 14 percent and “deficit reduction” at 13.5 percent.
The survey was conducted by Aimpoint Research and is part of the Agri-Pulse “Rural Route to the White House” series designed to help educate farmers and ranchers about how presidential candidates view national issues which are important to their livelihoods. The series is sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The nationwide telephone survey was conducted from January 22-26, with 750 producers who own at least 200 acres of farmland. The average U.S. farm size is 434 acres, according to the most recent U.S. Census of Agriculture, conducted in 2012. There is a margin of error of 3.6 percent with 95 percent confidence.