Why is Iowa not a red state?
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October 27, 2021, 09:14:12 PM

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  Why is Iowa not a red state?
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Author Topic: Why is Iowa not a red state?  (Read 18635 times)
Siloch
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« on: January 04, 2013, 03:48:50 PM »

Demographically it looks like it should be, it has a similar "make up" to very red states like Nebraska and Kansas. Iowa has never been a very red state though. It was one of Reagan's weakest states in 1980 and 1984. Ford barely won it in 1976. Bush lost it in 1988, Clinton won it twice, Gore won it (barely), Bush barely won it in 2004 and Obama won it twice.

Is there a lot of mining or industry in Iowa compared with Kansas and Nebraska which gives Democrats the edge?
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memphis
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 05:31:09 PM »

You can't compare the upper Mississippi with the Great American Desert. You may as well compare WV and MS.
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Siloch
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 05:59:22 PM »

It is interesting that Romney got above 60 percent in most northern Missouri counties sometimes up to 70 percent in certain counties then right across the border in southern Iowa he fails to hit 53 percent in most of them. It is weird how just across the state line it goes from very Republican to barley Republican. Anyone not on an ego trip have any explainations?
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BaldEagle1991
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 05:59:56 PM »

Well if we just went by demographics and voting patterns alone, Iowa would be a red state and Mississippi would be in play.

There must be some other factor into this one, perhaps Iowa isn't a big Evangelical state like Kansas or Nebraska. It also has more medium sized cities than Kansas or Nebraska.
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Blackacre
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 06:49:26 PM »

Perhaps more urban areas, perhaps (in 2012 anyway) Iowa's economy is good, giving it a favorable view of Obama. Maybe it's just closer to Minnesota than Kansas and Nebraska
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Siloch
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 07:04:42 PM »

Perhaps more urban areas, perhaps (in 2012 anyway) Iowa's economy is good, giving it a favorable view of Obama. Maybe it's just closer to Minnesota than Kansas and Nebraska

It's not about Obama, it has been leaning Democrat long before him. Iowa has similar sized cities to Kansas and Nebraska, Minnesota has a very large urban area which helps Democrats. Minnesota and Wisconsin are more similar, Iowa is just a state I don't understand. Every other state I understand why it votes the way it does even Colorado, but not Iowa.

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Sbane
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 03:28:29 AM »

Iowa has a lot of medium sized cities which are big enough to become Democratic, but not big enough to have urban decay which creates Republican voting suburbs like you see in Milwaukee and even Minneapolis.
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Butlerian Jihad
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 04:13:50 AM »

Well if we just went by demographics and voting patterns alone, Iowa would be a red state and Mississippi would be in play.

There must be some other factor into this one, perhaps Iowa isn't a big Evangelical state like Kansas or Nebraska. It also has more medium sized cities than Kansas or Nebraska.

Iowa has plenty of Evangelicals but it also has plenty of Illinois-style Catholics and Minnesota-style Lutherans.
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old timey villain
cope1989
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 04:26:58 AM »

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/iowa-racially-homogeneous-but-politically-diverse/

Here's Nate Silver's analysis

In short, he says that Iowa has added a lot of white collar and high tech jobs in recent years and many of those people lean Dem. It's also one of the most educated states in the nation. Eastern Iowa also has a lot of manufacturing jobs which makes that region vote a lot like the rest of the rust belt.

Another theory I have is that since the state is so important in the nomination process, both parties have gone to great lengths to cultivate strong bases on support. So, the demographics were always there to make it a swing state, but the parties have accelerated the trend.  NH, as the first primary state, is also famously competitive while other states around it with similar demographics are not.

Theory #2: The state is very white, so without a large minority population you don't have the same kind of reactionary conservatism you might find in more racially diverse states like Illinois. At the same time, it's just outside the bible belt so there's not a very strong evangelical culture like you'd find in Kansas or Missouri. The end result? A homogenous population that votes purely on ideology and issues, instead of racial or religious tribalism.
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muon2
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2013, 07:19:52 AM »

It is interesting that Romney got above 60 percent in most northern Missouri counties sometimes up to 70 percent in certain counties then right across the border in southern Iowa he fails to hit 53 percent in most of them. It is weird how just across the state line it goes from very Republican to barley Republican. Anyone not on an ego trip have any explainations?

The state line between IA and MO is pretty clear from a religious standpoint:


Well if we just went by demographics and voting patterns alone, Iowa would be a red state and Mississippi would be in play.

There must be some other factor into this one, perhaps Iowa isn't a big Evangelical state like Kansas or Nebraska. It also has more medium sized cities than Kansas or Nebraska.

Iowa has plenty of Evangelicals but it also has plenty of Illinois-style Catholics and Minnesota-style Lutherans.

True. The ELCA population in NE IA is a lot like MN, and is more Dem Leaning. NE IA and W WI are both more like MN. W IA is more like NE and KS.

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Siloch
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 09:55:29 AM »
« Edited: January 05, 2013, 09:57:00 AM by Siloch »

Those maps really helped me understand the Iowa/Missouri border, thanks ! Then again Iowa religiously looks a lot like Kansas and Nebraska still.
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Franknburger
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 12:32:24 PM »

Those maps really helped me understand the Iowa/Missouri border, thanks ! Then again Iowa religiously looks a lot like Kansas and Nebraska still.

There is quite a demographic difference between Iowa and Kansas, in that the former has much less Scandinavian and German, and more American/other ancestry, and American ancestry is usually associated with a strong republican lean.
However, Iowa and Nebraska are very alike not only religously, but also ancestry-wise, with the only exception being Iowa having a bit more Dutch, and Nebraska a bit more Central European (Czech/Polish) ancestry.

For reference, here are the main ancestry rates as per the 2000 census:
                                               KS      NE       IA      WI
    German/ Austrian / Swiss:   26,7    39,5    36,8    44.3
    Scandinavian                        4.2    10.6    11.5    13.6
    American / other                 27.7    17.4    15.3    15.2
    Scotch, Irish, Welsh             16.1    16.8    17.2    13.2
    English                               11.1      9.8      9,7      6.7
    Central European                  2.3      9,3      3.3    12.1
    italian, French                       5.4      5.5      4.6      8.2
    Dutch, Belgian                      2.4      2.4      4.9      3.9

Urbanisation (2000)                71.4     69.8    61.1    68.3

So, ancestry & religious orientation do not explain why Iowa and Nebraska vote so different from each other, at least in presidential elections.  Neither does urbanisation, b.t.w.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/iowa-racially-homogeneous-but-politically-diverse/

Here's Nate Silver's analysis

In short, he says that Iowa has added a lot of white collar and high tech jobs in recent years and many of those people lean Dem. It's also one of the most educated states in the nation. Eastern Iowa also has a lot of manufacturing jobs which makes that region vote a lot like the rest of the rust belt. 

And that seems to be what makes the difference: Comparing Nebraskas and Iowas GDP structure (2001), the former is more agricultural (8.3 vs. 6.6 % GDP share), transport-oriented (7.1 vs. 3.3) and government-based (13.1 vs. 11.1), while Iowa's economy is much more centered on manufacturing (18.6% of GDP vs. 11.8% in Nebraska). In essence - there are much more (white) blue collar workers in Iowa, while Nebraska employment is more based on the (energy-price sensitive) transport sector.

Such differences in economic structure should, b.t.w., also explain why the Dakotas are voting so different from Minnesota, in spite of obvious demographic similarities.

[P.S.: If anybody has a link to a page with decent GDP statistics per state, i.e. with a bit more of data aggregation / selection / cross-regional analysis features than the crappy BEA side,  I would be prepared to do some more analysis of voting trends vs. economic structure]
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traininthedistance
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 02:31:17 PM »

I wonder if the Driftless Area plays a role:

https://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=152591.0
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Sol
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 03:39:11 PM »

Most Definitely.
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Clamdick McClaw
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 10:29:39 PM »

Iowa has a lot of small industrial cities, not too many suburbs, and it lacks a large number of Southern-ish conservatives. 
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 09:37:10 PM »

You'd think Iowa would be prime GOP territory: rural, Midwestern, and a significant social/religious conservative population.  I think it it's more of a swing state than that largely because of the fact that there is a significant manufacturing and moderate population.  The reason Carter came so close to beating Ford there (albeit still failing) in 1976 was probably because of religious conservatives, and the reason Reagan was weaker and that Dukakis carried it was because of the farming depression.  That's also what helped Tom Harkin knock off Roger Jepsen for the latter's Senate seat in 1984.  You didn't really see a realignment until 1992, however.  And remember that Nixon carried Iowa all three times he ran.
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Siloch
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2013, 01:05:29 PM »

You'd think Iowa would be prime GOP territory: rural, Midwestern, and a significant social/religious conservative population.  I think it it's more of a swing state than that largely because of the fact that there is a significant manufacturing and moderate population.  The reason Carter came so close to beating Ford there (albeit still failing) in 1976 was probably because of religious conservatives, and the reason Reagan was weaker and that Dukakis carried it was because of the farming depression.  That's also what helped Tom Harkin knock off Roger Jepsen for the latter's Senate seat in 1984.  You didn't really see a realignment until 1992, however.  And remember that Nixon carried Iowa all three times he ran.

Interesting, Iowa is definately a state the GOP needs to lock up in future elections.
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DS0816
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2013, 12:08:27 PM »

Demographically it looks like it should be, it has a similar "make up" to very red states like Nebraska and Kansas. Iowa has never been a very red state though. It was one of Reagan's weakest states in 1980 and 1984. Ford barely won it in 1976. Bush lost it in 1988, Clinton won it twice, Gore won it (barely), Bush barely won it in 2004 and Obama won it twice.

Is there a lot of mining or industry in Iowa compared with Kansas and Nebraska which gives Democrats the edge?

Barack Obama won the white vote in 2008 Iowa. That immediately squashes the connection you've made with Iowa's demographics. The state is more in line with being a bellwether, with about a 2-point Democratic tilt. A Democrat gets elected or re-relected to the presidency of the United States ... Iowa carries.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 11:29:30 AM »

1. Iowa agriculture is farming with little ranching. Ranch country seems extremely R-leaning, as shown in the Texas Panhandle.

2. Iowa has little oil activity.

3. As the map shows, Iowa has comparatively few Southern Baptists (in contrast to Missouri).

4. Iowa, like Wisconsin and Minnesota (and really Michigan, Chicagoland, and northern Indiana and Ohio... and the West Coast from about Monterrey CA northward), was settled from the northeastern US. Settlers brought their institutions with them. The Puritan stock of New England set the institutions in place even if later immigrants (Irish Catholics in New England, Mexican-Americans in California) took them over. These are settler colonies, places in which institutions are strong, education is valued, courts settle disputes, and law is respected. The "Wild West" was almost invariably the Southwest settled by people of backwoods Scots-Irish and northern British stock -- people with little respect for institutions or learning and who often settled scores with duels and lynchings.

The people with a long heritage of respect for law, institutions, and learning became liberals; those who got such late are what we now call conservatives. (The blatant exception to the pattern is Mormons. Go figure.)  

5. Iowa has no metropolis but plenty of medium-sized cities. Racial animosity that results from huge concentrations of the underclass in giant cities (think of Missouri, which contains St. Louis and Kansas City) and resulting polarization that  results in dominance by white conservatives in Missouri does not happen in Iowa.

6. Iowa is close to the US average in its rural-urban mix. It is close to the D-R split nationwide, so if the majority goes slightly R, Republicans win the state's Presidential vote (2004); if the majority goes even slightly D (Democrats won the popular vote in every Presidential election nationwide since 1992 except 2004) Iowa goes D.   
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Mister_Right
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2014, 12:46:47 AM »



Nate Silver's analysis is nonsense!


Has nothing to do with his false accusations of racialism and being reactionary .. It has to do with Iowa is a Corn State that gets a ton of democrat lobby money for ethanol
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Mister_Right
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2014, 12:48:36 AM »

Iowa has a lot of medium sized cities which are big enough to become Democratic, but not big enough to have urban decay which creates Republican voting suburbs like you see in Milwaukee and even Minneapolis.
'
HAS NOTHING to do with ?Urban Decay!



Nothing to w/. your false accusations of racialism and being reactionary .. It has to do with Iowa is a Corn State that gets a ton of democrat lobby money for ethanol
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DS0816
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2014, 04:33:03 AM »

Barack Obama won the white vote in Iowa in both 2008 (a Democratic pickup year along with that state) and his re-election in 2012.

Whites are at least 90 percent of the size of the vote in Iowa.

Reason OP should have been able to understand, in the first place, is that whites do not handle their voting everywhere in this country like they do in Texas and numerous Old Confederacy states.
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Obama-Biden Democrat
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2014, 06:33:33 PM »
« Edited: October 29, 2014, 06:38:03 PM by Zyzz »

As you can tell by the religion by county map, Iowa and the rest of the Upper Midwest was settled by New Englanders. They brought along their progressive tolerant views with them. Missouri on the other hand was settled by Southerners outside of KC and STL and has the attached Conservatism.

There is also the theory about why super white states can be so progressive. The theory is that states with   
low amounts of minorities (less than 10% like Iowa) have little occurrences of white flight , situational racism and low amounts of poverty stricken ghettos.

On the other hand you have a state like Ohio with a 15-20% racial minority population that is large enough to have white flight , racial ghettos and a more racially polarized electorate than Iowa.
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shua
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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2014, 04:50:10 AM »

That religion map bears a rough resemblance to the 1976 map - Methodism and Lutheranism in the Democratic areas, Republicans winning the Catholic areas and the Dutch Reformed northwest corner. (Unlike other Catholic immigrants, German Catholics have historically tended Republican, particularly in the Midwest)

however, the current political geography of Iowa is quite different, with more of an East/West and urban/rural divide
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2014, 06:48:24 AM »

That religion map is really interesting. One of the few clear examples of stark differences on other sides of political boundaries. (Oklahoma/Kansas is another one, although they're both highly Republican states).
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