Farming communities have always been less cosmopolitan than urban areas, and that makes them more culturally conservative, but my sense is that they used to be more economically liberal in the past than today. Today, the most solidly conservative parts of the nation are the rural areas and this is obviously due in part to their cultural conservatism, but perhaps they have become more economically conservative too as mean farm incomes have risen. For all of history until recently, average farm income was lower than average non-farm income. However, today the average farmer earns more than the average non-farmer. Of course there is very high inequality in farm income and it is probably increasing as the average farm size (and wealth) rises, so that doesn’t mean that the median rural farm worker earns more than the median non-farm worker, but perhaps rising average farm incomes have increased rural economic conservatism to match rural cultural conservatism.
Posted in Pence2018