Pawlenty won’t run against Senate Ag panelist Smith

Former two-term Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he will not run for the Senate this year, “dashing Republican hopes that he would mount a strong bid for Al Franken’s old seat,” said the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Bustos recipe for Democratic success in the Midwest: Bread-and-butter issues

A report co-authored by Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois says that “national Democrats must acknowledge and stay focused on the bread-and-butter challenges facing hardworking families” to gain the rural and working-class support vital to winning elections in the Midwest.

Urban–rural polarization grows in Virginia election

Rural Virginia has trended Republican in the past two decades, and the statewide election this week underlined its political divergence from the state’s metropolitan areas, said the Daily Yonder.

Will rural Virginia decide the governor’s election today?

A year ago, rural America voted two-to-one to put Donald Trump in the White House. Rural Virginians are certain to vote heavily for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in today’s election, and “the margin ... may affect the statewide result,” says the Daily Yonder.

Outsider Moore defeats Senate Ag panelist Strange in Alabama runoff

Bible-quoting conservative firebrand Roy Moore handily defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange in the runoff for the GOP nomination to complete the term of former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions. The result guarantees turnover in Senate Agriculture Committee membership to replace Strange, a supporter of additional cotton subsidies, following the Dec. 12 general election.

Tougher race expected for House Ag panelist Bost

It’s still 15 months until the 2018 midterm elections, but prospects have turned cloudier for Illinois Rep. Mike Bost, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, says Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Now that a Democrat challenger has announced, the political tipsheet rates the race in the southern Illinois district as “likely” Republican, a change from its previous “safe” Republican assessment.

Georgia is more likely to investigate rural voters than city dwellers

The Daily Yonder says its analysis of State Election Board records for 2015 and 2016 in Georgia "shows that rural voters are about twice as likely to be investigated as urban voters are." The secretary of state's office, which oversees elections, says if there's a disparity, it's because rural poll workers are not as well trained rather than bias of any form.