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New Polling Shows Trump’s Job Approval On The Coronavirus Response Has Dropped Since March

Columbus, OH—New national polling conducted from April 25–29, 2020  by Change Research  and commissioned by RuralOrganizing.org shows President Donald Trump’s job approval rating on the coronavirus outbreak has dropped from 48% approval in March to 41% approval in April, with strong approval dropping from 36% to 29% and strong disapproval increasing from 45% to 55%. 

The new research, which builds on polling conducted during the last week of March, 2020, also demonstrated that a larger proportion of voters has very serious concerns about re-opening the economy too soon (51% very serious concerns) than the proportion with very serious concerns about taking social distancing measures too far and hurting the economy (31% very serious concerns).

In order to provide a comprehensive analysis of rural voters, the polling included an oversample of voters living in counties designated as “rural,” according to the USDA rural urban continuum codes. In our analysis, we distinguish between voters in “large metro” and “non-large metro.” Non-large metro counties are also further designated as “small metro” and non-metro, according to the continuum codes.

Voters in non-large metro counties, like those in the rest of the nation, strongly approve of increasing emergency SNAP funding (42% strongly approve) and increasing monthly SNAP benefits (37% strongly approve). The Postal Service has a favorability rating of  +67 among non-large metro voters and 66% of these voters disapprove of not allocating stimulus money to the USPS. 56% of non-large metro voters believe that “big corporations and Wall Street” have benefited more from coronavirus stimulus money than "small businesses and workers."

Crosstabs of the poll can be found here.

Key Findings:

  • Trump’s job approval rating on the coronavirus outbreak has dropped from 48% approval in March to 41% approval in April, with strong approval dropping from 36% to 29% and strong disapproval increasing from 45% to 55%. Job approval in other areas remains largely stable nationwide. His overall favorability remains relatively stable and does not match the drop in his handling of the pandemic.

  • The proportion of voters with very serious concerns about re-opening the economy too soon (51% very serious concerns) is larger than the proportion with very serious concerns about taking social distancing measures too far and hurting the economy (31% very serious concerns).

    • In non-large-metros, 45% have very serious concerns about re-opening the economy too soon, and 38% have very serious concerns about taking social distancing too far and hurting the economy.

  • Voters approve of both increasing emergency funding to SNAP (54% strongly approve, 82% total approval) and increasing monthly SNAP benefits (48% strongly approve, 76% total approval), compared to 54% strong approval and 88% total approval for sending $1200 relief checks to taxpayers. Pluralities in non-large-metro areas strongly approve of increasing emergency SNAP funding (42% strongly approve) and increasing monthly SNAP benefits (37% strongly approve).

  • A 69% majority of voters overall disapproves of not allocating stimulus money to the Postal Service. In non-large-metro areas, 67% of voters disapprove, and 64% have very serious or somewhat serious concerns about USPS running out of funding. Among the measures listed, voters overall approve of allocating stimulus money to small businesses the most (71% strongly approve, 95% total approval).

  • Allocating stimulus money to corporations is the least popular response to the crisis, with 48% strongly disapproving and 78% total disapproval among all voters. A large majority (76%) in non-large-metro areas disapproves of allocating stimulus money to corporations, and voters here are also united in approval of allocating stimulus money to small businesses.

  • However, voters are much less likely to believe that stimulus money has actually benefited small businesses over corporations. 62% of registered voters nationwide believe that big corporations and Wall Street have benefited the most from stimulus money, 6% say small businesses and workers, 8% say both equally, and 24% are not sure. Even among self-identified Republicans, 34% say big corporations and Wall Street, 16% say small business and workers, 13% say both equally, and a 38% plurality say not sure.

Methodology

The sample is 1,274 responses collected between April 25–29, 2020. Change Research used its Dynamic Online Sampling to achieve a sample reflective of registered voters across the nation and to oversample registered voters in non-metro areas. The margin of error as traditionally calculated is 2.8%, and post-stratification was performed on age, gender, race/ethnicity, geography, vote history, and urbanicity.

 The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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The Trump Administration Treats Meatpacking Workers Like They Are Expendable, Not Essential

Columbus, OH—The following is a statement from Matthew Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org in response to President Donald Trump’s latest actions regarding meatpacking workers in the United States.

The last thing American farmers need right now is for more food processing plants to shut down. But that trend won't end until Trump truly recognizes the dignity of agricultural work and gives immigrant food and farm workers the respect they deserve and the protection they need. American farmers are already on the brink. Dairy farmers are flushing their milk, corn producers are seeing closure of ethanol plants, livestock farmers are getting hit with the trade wars and coronavirus disruptions of export markets.

Now, Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda has put the entire food system at risk. The vast majority of our agricultural workforce is foreign born. You can’t protect our food supply without protecting immigrant and refugee workers—which Trump is refusing to do. If we truly recognized the dignity of agricultural work and gave immigrant food and farm workers the respect they deserve, we would have acted months ago to ensure they have the PPE and testing they need and these processing facilities would still be open.

The Trump administration refuses to acknowledge that immigrants are essential. If they did, the health and safety requirements would be mandatory, not just suggestions. But no one expects the most anti-worker Labor Secretary, Eugene Scalia, to do that. Our entire agricultural system is built on the backs of immigrant food and farmworkers. They are the definition of  "essential workers". But Trump thinks they are expendable and this miscalculation is putting our entire farm economy at risk.

 The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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Grammy Nominated Bluegrass Musician, Joe Troop, Releases New Song To #SaveThePostOffice

Columbus, OH—Grammy Award winning bluegrass musician, Joe Troop of Che Apalache, introduced a new song titled “A Plea to the US Government to Fully Fund the Postal Service” urging support for the United States Postal Service, which is experiencing massive funding shortfalls during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The video is available on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Lyrics for “A Plea to the US Government to Fully Fund the Postal Service” are included below.

President Trump has threatened to veto legislation that could bail out the postal service.  Troop, a resident of rural North Carolina, conveys the importance of the postal service and the dedication of its workers, who are “delivering goods to our front doors despite these troubled times.”  He issued a call to his U.S. Senators, Richard Burr and Tom Tillis, to support the Postal Service and urged others to do the same.

The video was produced as part of RuralOrganizing.org's National Week of Action starting on April 27, 2020 which generated over 350,000 petition signatures, nearly 30,000 handwritten letters, and hundreds of social media posts demanding that the White House and Congress fully fund the USPS.

The following is a statement from Joe Troop:

I’ve been thinking a lot here lately about my grandpa, Jay Vann Smith Jr. who died in June of 2010. He got worked like a government mule for half his life by Western Electric and was left nearly deaf from all the loud machinery. But after he retired, he found another job in the mail room at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC. He was friends with his co-workers, and together they made sure that even the sick and dying could receive their mail. That brought meaning to his life. 

I had just moved to Argentina when my grandpa Jay passed and was unfortunately unable to attend his funeral. This song is my tribute to him. We didn’t see eye to eye on everything, but he openly expressed belief in me, and that meant a lot. Y’all, let’s save the United States Postal Service and pay tribute to one of the few organizations that has always been there for us.

The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.Org:

Joe Troop captures in song the concerns of so many Americans - particularly those living in rural areas - about the importance of the U.S. Postal Service. For many, it’s a lifeline all the time, but especially during the pandemic.  That President Trump called this vital entity a “joke” is an insult not only to postal service employees, but to the millions of Americans who count on it. The question is whether Republican Senators, especially those who represent states with large rural populations, will support their constituents who need the postal service - or once again fall in line with Trump.  Because as Joe Troop notes, “The US Postal Service direly needs a helping hand.” That helping hand will directly benefit millions of Americans too.

Lyrics for “A Plea to the US Government to Fully Fund the Postal Service”

Music and lyrics by Joe Troop
Video Directed by Gen Kogure

 

I’m waiting by the mailbox, they say a check is coming soon

1200 bucks to ease the pain and pay a bill or two

But no more aid will come my way, unless I take a stand.

The US Postal Service direly needs a helping hand.

 

Oh won’t you heed this message, won’t you hear my mournful cry

It’s hard to keep your wits about with all this death and dying

But harder times will come our way, on this you can rely

Unless we learn to not be fooled by awful dreadful lies.

 

Our government is doing a disservice to us all.

To not deliver us the mail should be against the law!

 

So many men and women out risking their poor lives

Delivering goods to our front doors despite these troubled times

They make the rounds to bring us mail, they work come rain or shine

and now it seems the government is leaving them behind.

 

I too have lost my livelihood, I’m struggling day by day

Ole Uncle Sam won’t bail me out, while corporate crooks are saved

In times like these it’s fair to say we’ll need new ways to vote

But if the Postal Service dies, my friends, that’s all she wrote.

 

They’re well aware of what’s to come and chose to do us wrong.

If the US Postal Service dies, our right to vote is gone.

 

It’s time for us to make demands, before it is too late.

So, fully fund the US Postal Service for God’s sake!

 

 The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

 

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New Poll Of Rural Americans: President Trump Did Not Adequately Prepare For Coronavirus Pandemic

Columbus, OH—New nationwide polling  suggests that rural Americans don’t think President Donald Trump adequately prepared for the coronavirus outbreak. The poll, commissioned by RuralOrganizing.org, was conducted by Change Research on March 26-29th.

While approval of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak largely falls on partisan lines, the poll of registered voters also documents widespread concerns regarding Trump’s pandemic response that transcends partisan politics and geography.

TOPLINES | CROSS TABS

Among the findings: 

  • Approval of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak largely falls on partisan lines, but concern regarding pandemic transcends partisan politics and geography

  • 76% of non-metro and 80% small-metro respondents said the coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on their daily life

  • 90% of non-metro respondents reported seeing low inventory at stores and online, 65% reported being impacted by school closures, and 41% reported a decrease in the value of their investments

  • A majority of non-metro respondents (52%) don’t believe Donald Trump has adequately prepared for the coronavirus outbreak but they are split (45% distrust v 47% trust) on the reliability of the information coming from the President regarding pandemic

  • 44% of non-metro respondents believe that the federal government has not gone far enough to slow the spread of the outbreak and only 8% believe the federal government has gone too far; in comparison, a majority (59%) of non-metro voters believe local and state governments have taken appropriate measures

  • A clear majority of non-metro respondents (63%) trust the information coming from their state and local governments about the coronavirus

  • A majority of non-metro respondents (54%) don’t believe their local and state leaders are adequately prepared for the coronavirus outbreak

  • 55% of non-metro respondents believe their hospitals and clinics are not adequately prepared for the coronavirus outbreak 

  • Non-Metro voters are split on Trump’s impact on their communities. 44% of non-metro voters agree and 49% disagree with the statement that, “Trump is hurting farmers and rural communities.”

  • Overall, about half of non-metro respondents (48%) disapprove of the job President Trump is doing on healthcare

  • 30% of non-metro respondents reported losing income due to decrease in work hours or less business

  • A quarter of non-metro respondents 24% have already lost their job to coronavirus or fear that they will lose their jobs.

The following is a quote from Matthew Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org:

“Our poll found rural voters are concerned about coronavirus - and should be. Over the past few days in rural counties, we’ve seen the deaths from coronavirus increase dramatically.  The rural hospital closure crisis, especially in states that refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, has left small towns and rural communities uniquely vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic. Our poll shows the vast majority of rural voters are being impacted by coronavirus and are not confident that their leaders and health care system are ready for it. The past years of neglect mean small town clinics and hospitals will need support now like never before.  ”

Methodology 

1,213 interviews were collected between March 26–29 nationwide. Change Research used its Dynamic Online Sampling to achieve a sample reflective of registered voters. The margin of error as traditionally calculated at a 95% confidence level is 2.8%, and post-stratification was performed on age, gender, race/ethnicity, geography, and vote history.

 The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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Rural Progressives Spearhead Call to Fully Fund United States Postal Service

Over 200,000 Americans Join Demand From RuralOrganizing.org and MoveOn for Congress and the White House Fully Fund the Postal Service in the Next Stimulus Bill

Columbus, OH—The United States Postal Service is one of the government’s oldest and most reliable entities - and that’s especially true in rural America. The Postal Service has long been a lifeline for rural communities.  This week, Rural Organizing and MoveOne launched a petition that has quickly  garnered over 200,000 signatures calling for action to save the Postal Service.

However, because of the pandemic, the agency could run out of cash by the end of September if Congress fails to act and news reports indicate that President Trump blocked a bipartisan attempt to fund the agency.

The following is a statement by Matthew Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org:

For years, some Republicans have tried to push mail service toward privatization — either by setting highly prescriptive loan terms or by essentially forcing it into bankruptcy.  But, it’s the Postal Service that delivers to rural and remote parts of the company, often on behalf of the private delivery companies who don’t want to risk their profit margins by providing service to everyone.

Every member of Congress, but especially those representing rural states and districts, should be demanding that  the White House fully fund the United States Postal Service in the next stimulus bill. Instead, we’re going to see which of those members put their loyalty to Trump ahead of their constituents - again.

The pandemic is hitting rural communities extremely hard. The rural health system was already in trouble. Too many Republican Governors failed to act responsibly.  Now, Trump is threatening another one of rural America’s most reliable lifelines. The outpouring of support for the RuralOrganizing.org/MoveOn petition to save the Postal Service sends a clear message: Congress must act now.

 The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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Rural America Needs Bold, Decisive Leadership During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Columbus, OH—In light of the humanitarian and economic crisis sparked by COVID-19, rural America needs bold and immediate action now!

The following is a statement by Matthew Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org:

As Congress continues to work on the federal stimulus and emergency investment legislation, we have a message from Rural America: Invest in people, not corporations. 

Many Republican Senators have large rural constituencies that are suffering. Those Senators need to put their constituents ahead of their donors.  In small towns and rural communities, we immediately need policies that protect frontline workers, expand health care access to testing and treatment, and provide monthly payments to individuals and families.

But while  another historic crisis is unfolding, rural America is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, which hit rural communities harder, earlier, and longer than urban areas. Most rural communities still lag behind in employment, child poverty, and life expectancy.  

This is the time to establish a strong economic foundation for rural communities to thrive for generations. Remember, after the Great Depression, it was progressive policies that saved rural America. It’s time to make that same investment. 

The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

 

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Trump’s Education Cuts Are Cruel and  Inept

Columbus, OH—RuralOrganizing.org is demanding that President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos immediately reverse their decision to alter eligibility requirements for the Rural and Low-Income School Program in light of new reporting from the New York Times that the change will cut thousands of dollars in aid to some of the poorest, most isolated schools in the country.

The following is a statement from Matthew  Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org.

The Trump administration is pursuing another policy that hurts rural communities. This time, their target is rural kids who deserve equal access to education, whether it's K-12 or college.  This bureaucratic bookkeeping decision is heartless and inept. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos must immediately reverse their decision to alter eligibility requirements for RLIS and refocus on helping small rural schools.

Congress created the Rural Education Achievement Program in 2002. It's the only dedicated federal funding stream for rural school districts. As the New York Times notes “Rural school districts, which serve nearly one in seven public-school students, have long been considered the most underfunded and ignored in the country.” These districts rely on the funding that’s being cut to supplement the costs of services that are far less accessible to rural students, like technology, mental health and guidance counselors, and full-day kindergarten.

RuralOrganizing.org is circulating an online petition urging the Trump administration to immediately reverse course on their decision to alter eligibility requirements for the Rural and Low-Income School Program. You can view the petition here.

The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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The Proposed 2021 Budget is Full of Bad Ideas and Broken Promises for Rural America

Columbus, OH— President Donald Trump released a $4.8 trillion federal budget today for the 2021 Fiscal Year proposing steep cuts to programs that are critical to small towns and rural communities across the country.

The failing of the Trump administration’s budget is rooted in their preference for big corporations over locally owned small farms. Recently, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Wisconsin dairy farmers that, “In America the big get bigger and the small go out.” The administration’s  preference for big agricultural over small farms is reflected through the budget priorities. 

The Trump administration’s idea  that the big should “get bigger and the small go out” also applies to small businesses. The administration proposed budget considers the USDA Rural Business Service Programs, that provides funding opportunities for rural small businesses through loans, loan guarantees, and grants, to  be an unnecessary and wasteful program. 

Our polling shows that rural people support federal government programs aimed at improving people’s lives, but Trump is proposing  an  8 percent cut in funding to USDA, the Education Department, and the Energy Department. These agencies provide critical programs that support the rural way of life. 

The following is a statement from Matthew  Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org.

President Trump’s budget proposal is full of bad ideas and broken promises for rural America. He favors big corporations at the expense of the small farms and the small businesses that are the bedrock of rural economies. Rural America needs more small farms and small businesses—not less. They are the foundation of rural economies.

And when it comes to funding for infrastructure,  we’re tired of broken promises. This administration’s commitment to investing in infrastructure has become a bad running joke.

Find our full overview of how the Trump administration’s proposed budget will impact small towns and rural communities here.

The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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Trump’s SNAP Changes Will Hit Rural Residents Harder Than The Rest Of The Nation, Experts Say

Columbus, OH— Advocates for small towns and rural communities are demanding that U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue stop the implementation of the recently announced changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) canceling work-requirement waivers for hundreds of thousands of participants.

Feeding America states that, "SNAP provides families with their basic nutritional needs to get them through temporary hard times. It helps people get back on their feet and on the road to a better life.”

According to Lisa Pruitt, a scholar at the University of California-Davis, “Work requirements are disproportionately harmful in rural communities because of a dearth of public transportation, lack of access to child care where needed and very few available jobs.” 

In less than a week since the changes were announced, over 76,000 people have signed a petition circulated by RuralOrganizing.org stating that, “USDA's newly-proposed rules to SNAP will cut food stamp benefits for hundreds of thousands of hungry people. We demand that you stop these proposed changes before they take effect on April 1, 2020.”

The following is a statement from  Liz Shaw,  President of Indivisible Appalachian Ohio.

Hunger is a serious issue in Appalachian Ohio, and food pantries often struggle to keep up with the demand. The organization I lead, Indivisible Appalachian Ohio, has spent thousands of dollars this year sponsoring the food bank's emergency mobile food pantry. We are on the front line hearing desperate stories of catastrophic illness, death of the family's breadwinner, housing displaced relatives, and job layoffs. This ill-advised policy will greatly increase the human suffering already in our region. 

The following is a statement from Matthew  Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org.

Instead of kicking job seekers off of SNAP, President Trump should focus on keeping his promise of bringing jobs to small towns and rural communities. 

The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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ICYMI: Che Apalache, The Popular Bluegrass Group, Puts Spotlight On Diversity In Rural America

Winston-Salem, NC—Che Apalache, a four-man string band based in Buenos Aires, Argentina with members from Argentina, Mexico and the United States was featured on Telemundo this weekend.

Read the full article here

Che Apalache is a “latingrasss” group featuring three powerhouse Latin American musicians. Franco Martino on guitar and Martin Bobrik on mandolin are from Argentina. Banjoist, Pau Barjau, is from Mexico. The group ’s leader, Joe Troop, is from the North Carolina Piedmont region, in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Their latest album, “Rearrange My Heart,” was released this summer and was produced by famed banjo player and cross-genre trailblazer Béla Fleck.

Che Apalache’s new music video “The Dreamer” features the story of Moisés Serrano, an openly undocumented and queer activist and storyteller who wrote the script for the music video which was released this month. Moisés’ advocacy has also been filmed in the feature length documentary, Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America. The five-time award winning film was recently honored by the Television Academy. 

The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org.

Che Apalache represents the true diversity of small towns and rural communities across the county. Since coming out as undocumented in 2010, Moisés’ has relentlessly pursued equality for his community through the sharing of his narrative.  His home, and the home for his family, is here. DACA has been a critical program for many small towns and rural communities. According to a report by the Senate’s Joint Economic Committee, 61% of rural recipients got jobs with health insurance or other benefits after being approved for DACA. 

 

The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

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