November 19, 2019


November 19, 2019  


Rural North Carolina Voters Want Leaders in Washington with Rural Values

Voters Expressed Mixed Views on President Trump, Democrats

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, One Country Project (OCP) released “Views from Rural North Carolina,” a report based on a series of three focus groups made up of Obama-Trump voters and voters who supported President Trump but are open to voting for someone else in 2020.

“Rural residents enjoy their way of life – the independence, the self-determination, the neighborliness. They respect the rules and want national policy to reflect that,” said founding board member and former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp. “Participants of OCP’s group interviews were less inclined to focus on the impeachment proceedings and preferred to talk about the substance of policies they find important, like lowering their health care costs while preserving access to quality care and protecting public lands from environmental degradation so future generations can continue to enjoy sustainable hunting, fishing, and recreation.”

OCP conducted the focus group interviews near Charlotte, North Carolina on November 14, 2019. The groups were broken down between rural men, rural women, and a mixed-sex group of suburban residents. Some highlights from the focus groups are:

  • Rural voters expressed strong support for “individual freedoms,” such as gun ownership, a rules-based approach to immigration, measured actions to protect the environment, and lower health care costs.
  • Overall, participants held positive views of the president due to his image as a disruptor and change agent – however, the president’s lack of decorum and his negative tone was repeatedly raised.
  • Participants felt the Democratic field was simply too large to pay attention to at the moment, and they are taking a wait-and-see approach to evaluating Democratic candidates and third-party alternatives.

The full report lays out additional details on observations made during the focus groups.


About One Country Project    

The One Country Project, led by former Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, is working to promote greater opportunities for rural communities and ensure leaders earn their support. One Country is reengaging with rural Americans, serving as a clearinghouse of research and information for rural Americans, and working to ensure leaders regain trust by fighting for these communities. To learn more, visit the website,