The Changes in Iowa

Election night 1988 contained few surprises except for the outcome of the subject state.  Iowa was one of the 10 states that Michael Dukakis carried in an otherwise dull night.  I pictured Iowa as in America’s Midwestern Heartland and solidly Republican.  1952 was a milestone in Presidential Politics.  It was the first campaign involving television.  In the nine  Presidential Elections from 1952 to 1984,  Iowa went Democratic just once.  That was in 1964,  an election that was outside the usual context of national politics.  In 1988, Iowa went Democratic while more often liberal and urban states went for George Bush.  A summary of three regions the United States shows how much Iowa changed.

Mid-West.  In addition to Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin went Democratic.  Michigan and Illinois went Republican.

Mid-Atlantic-Dukakis carried New York and West Virginia.  Two states, Pennsylvania and Maryland, voted for Bush.

New England-Dukakis carried his home state of Massachusetts as well as  Rhode Island.  Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut went for Bush.

The Democratic losses listed above really hurt.  Governor Dukakis did not even do well in his home region of New England.

In other words, things down on the farm in at least in one state really changed.  Since 1988, Iowa has stayed Democratic except for 2004.  The outcome was in doubt for about 10 days and ultimately went to George Bush.  He, of course, had already been declared the winner. People tell me that Iowa is shifting with movement to the eastern part of the state, which is more urban than the west.   It will be interesting to see if other mid-western states follow Iowa’s trend.


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