Audio: Missouri’s ongoing rural-urban voting divide on display in U.S. Senate race

Democrat and Republican Parties

The ongoing urban-rural divide in voting amongst Missouri Democrats and Republicans was reflected in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate race.



The high number of ballots cast for Republican challenger Josh Hawley in less populated counties gave him a majority 51% of the votes in Tuesday’s election. The first-term state attorney general won all but four of Missouri’s 114 counties, garnering a 70% or larger share of the vote in at least 45 of them. In many cases, fewer than 5,000 total ballots were cast in those counties. In three rural counties – Barton, Mercer, and Stoddard – Hawley accumulated at least 80% of the vote.

By contrast, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill lost the election while collecting 62% of the votes in the two largest counties, St. Louis (population 996,726) and Jackson (699,000). She accumulated 84% of the ballots cast in St. Louis City (309,000) while generating a plurality of votes, 49% versus 47% for Hawley in Clay County (242,900) near Kansas City. McCaskill also won Boone, the 7th largest County (178,271) and home to the University of Missouri with 56% of the vote.