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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  U.S. Presidential Election Results
  2012 U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderators: Torie, ON Progressive)
  Iowa
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Author Topic: Iowa  (Read 1426 times)
mileslunn
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« on: November 18, 2012, 10:20:12 pm »

It is a landlocked state, lacks a large metropolitan areas (Minnesota has Minneapolis and Wisconsin has Milwaukee which are much larger than Des Moines) and is one of only a handful of states that are over 90% white so asides from tradition, is there any particular reason the Democrats are still competitive here?
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DINGO Joe
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 01:52:06 pm »

It gets virtually zero dollars in defense spending and has no extraction (oil gas coal) industry in the state.  It's actually the second highest wind energy state (behind Texas) and generates the highest percentage of it's electricity from wind of any state by far.  High literacy and an engaged political populace helps too.  Linn/Johnson counties has a large university/IT presence and even Dubuque has a substantial IBM workforce.  IT tends to be left-center.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 02:48:46 pm »

Iowa has no large metros, but it has rather a lot of people living in sizable urban cores (as well as a very large rural population - 36% as per the census bureau's definitions). It has a very small outer suburban population.
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memphis
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 02:52:55 pm »

The whole Upper Mississippi has a pretty strong Dem advantage. See similar results in SW Wisconsin and NW Illinois. Western Iowa, of course, remains a strongly GOP region.
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mileslunn
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 11:03:50 pm »

The whole Upper Mississippi has a pretty strong Dem advantage. See similar results in SW Wisconsin and NW Illinois. Western Iowa, of course, remains a strongly GOP region.

Any particular reason for this?  I can see why the Democrats do well in rural New England as it is a pretty liberal area throughout and I believe has very few evangelical Christians (If you exclude this group, Obama got almost 60%), whereas the percentage of white evangelicals is pretty close to the national average in this area.  The other area is the rural West Coast counties in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington where you have a strong environmental movement and alternative lifestyle attitude.  But I cannot see any particular reason in this area.  Not that I would expect it to go massively Republican as it is not in the Deep South, Plains, or Mountain West which are the only areas the GOP routinely get over 70% in rural counties, but I thought I would be similiar to rural Upstate New York or rural Michigan in terms of voting patterns. 
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giving birth to thunder
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 03:41:32 am »

Iowa's voting patterns make a lot of sense if someone actually looks at the state and sees that it's not endless rows of cornfields but rather population-wise mostly a collection of smaller cities scattered throughout the state that are big enough to develop a cosmopolitan and intellectual culture but not large enough to develop the white flight/exurban sprawl stuff found in larger metros to a great degree. Also in contrast to stereotypes people who actually understood the state knew early on in 2008 based on some selected precincts in Des Moines and Waterloo that any hope Hillary had of making inroads with the black vote was dead.
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 08:34:12 am »

Elazar's model of political culture has certain flaws imo (in how it delineates regions), but in the case of Iowa I think it does a good job at explaining some of the reasons for the difference with surrounding Plains or Southern states.
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 09:05:59 am »

Iowa's voting patterns make a lot of sense if someone actually looks at the state and sees that it's not endless rows of cornfields but rather population-wise mostly a collection of smaller cities scattered throughout the state that are big enough to develop a cosmopolitan and intellectual culture but not large enough to develop the white flight/exurban sprawl stuff found in larger metros to a great degree. Also in contrast to stereotypes people who actually understood the state knew early on in 2008 based on some selected precincts in Des Moines and Waterloo that any hope Hillary had of making inroads with the black vote was dead.
Iowa is still a swing state, though.
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