The Ozark Mountain Region of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas is a large mostly rural area with limited economies dependent on small-scale agriculture, timber harvest, and tourism. With the exception of a few thriving population centers, like Northwest Arkansas and the Springfield, MO metro areas, unacceptable poverty rates are common throughout the region.
Although some counties do elect Democrats to local office, the region is deeply red, dominated by a strong predominance of elected Republican state legislators and federal representatives. Gun control, abortion law, gay marriage, and religious fundamentalism are hot issues used by Republicans to help maintain political control, while the region’s resident’s dire social needs and the area's lack of economic progress are largely left unattended.
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