His anger against incumbent Democrats echoes across the rural Midwest. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last month 55% of Midwesterners disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing, six percentage points higher than the rest of the U.S. And 66% of rural Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, five points more than U.S. voters as a whole…

North Dakotans, who like to define themselves as rugged individualists, received $1.68 per capita from the federal Treasury for every dollar they paid in—largely through road and agriculture subsidies—according to a 2007 report by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group based in Washington.

By that measure, North Dakota was the sixth most dependent state in the U.S.

“There’s a huge contradiction” between voter anger over big government and those numbers, said University of North Dakota economist David Flynn.