Since 2004 the Center for Rural Strategies has produced the Rural Tracker, a national nonpartisan poll of rural voters in battleground states. The poll is deisgned to show how the opinions of rural voters help shape presidential and congressional races.
In recent elections, rural voters have been decisive. When Republican candidates run up big margins among rural voters, they win national elections. When Democrats decrease the Republican lead in rural areas, Democrats tend to win elections. These trends held true in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections and in the 2006 midterm election for House and Senate.
Partners in the Rural Tracker have included the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation of New York, and the National Rural Assembly. The polls have been reported on NPR and other national and regional outlets.