There is an interesting electoral phenomenon going in the Midwestern US that is changing the region significantly.
We often think about the Midwest as being “conservative” but that has not been the case over the last 30 years when states like Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin had become somewhat or very liberal. Illinois has a history of liberalism because of the outsized influence of Chicago.
This happened because their cities vote Democrat while enough of the rest of the states, including suburban, small town and rural Democrats and independents, also did so in enough numbers to tip these states into the liberal camp.
But that pattern is shifting significantly. Rural and small-town voters nationwide are now turning much more solidly Republican while independents in the suburbs are shifting to the GOP in large numbers, particularly with the emergence of Trump.
In 2016 Wisconsin and Michigan voted for Trump, the first time that either had voted for a Republican presidential candidate since the 1980s. Meanwhile Trump lost Minnesota but did much better than he was expected to do. Michigan, which was controlled by its Democrat-allied labor unions for decades, voted for Trump after its good experience since 2011 with a reform-minded Republican governor named Rick Snyder.
Even Illinois now has a conservative Republican governor. Ohio, which Trump won in a landslide, has been a ‘swing’ state for decades.
Trump only lost Minnesota by 45,000 votes yet Obama won Minnesota over Romney in 2012 by 226,000 votes. Obama won Michigan by 450,000 votes over Romney, yet Trump won Michigan by 11,000 votes over Hillary. So things are changing dramatically.
Iowa is changing too. Obama won Iowa by 92,000 votes over Romney in 2012 and by 146,000 votes in 2008 over McCain, while Trump won Iowa in 2016 by 147,000 votes over Hillary. Wow. Kaboom. Slam dunk.
Here are some excerpts from the Associated Press about what else is happening in Iowa, which also voted Democrat in 1992, 1996 and 2000. Each excerpt is followed by a Nikitas3.com comment:
Associated Press reports: After decades as the crossroads of prairie populists and checkbook conservatives, Iowa has suddenly become solidly Republican like many of its Midwestern neighbors. It was one of four states – along with Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire – that flipped to complete GOP control (governor plus both houses of the state legislature) in the November (2016) election, but Iowa’s rush of new legislation has been the most intense. In an all-night session last week, Iowa lawmakers approved a bill similar to one enacted in Wisconsin six years ago that strips most public sector unions of long-held collective bargaining rights, including health insurance.
Nikitas3.com comment: This has happened because the economic woes since 2008 have exposed big differences in the parties that previously had been concealed by a strong American economy. There also is a powerful anti-union sentiment sweeping the nation after unions stole everything in sight for 60 years. Americans are tired of it. Labor unions are in rapid decline. In 1945 40% of all private-sector workers in the US were unionized. In 2017 that number is 7%. After all, if you kill the companies you work for with strikes and outrageous wage demands, the jobs disappear.
Associated Press reports: Jeff Orvis, a veteran northern Iowa high school teacher, said he sees the measure leaving permanent damage to Iowa’s century-old reputation for quality schools, enshrined on the state’s 2004 commemorative quarter: ‘Foundation in education’ “Now, I don’t even see how Iowa is going to attract good teachers,” said Jeff Orvis, a union representative from northern Iowa. “That’s my biggest worry.”
Nikitas3.com comment: This is typical crocodile tears from public school teachers and their unions. Unless the checkbook is open for them they think that it is the end of the world. Yet private, parochial and charter school teachers make lower salaries, often much lower, and produce much better results. Education is not about money; it is about who is doing the educating.
Associated Press reports: Among other items, (Iowa) Republicans also are pressing to eliminate state money for all Planned Parenthood services, outlaw the use of fetal tissue for medical research, subject doctors who perform abortions to lawsuits by women at any time in the future, scrap minimum wage increases in Iowa’s largest counties and block municipalities from enacting sexual orientation discrimination protections. Nikitas3.com comment: Good. And this is a state that produced a left-wing US senator like Tom Harkin for 5 terms (30 years), Democrat governors, and Democrat legislatures over many years.
Associated Press reports: Thousands protested (the union collective bargaining cuts) at the Capitol in Des Moines last week. And Senate Democrats held an all-night debate Wednesday night, after every member of the minority spoke to oppose it… Republicans stymied each of Democrats’ dozens of attempts to amend the bill.
Nikitas3.com comment: These same types of protests happened in Wisconsin in 2011, only bigger, longer and with national media coverage. The unions in Wisconsin tore up the state capitol building and grounds protesting, and went crazy all over the place trying to stop the reforms. Yet the reforms got implemented under conservative Republican governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin economy has significantly rebounded since then. Watch for popular Walker to win Wisconsin’s US Senate in 2018 from lesbian Democrat incumbent Tammy Baldwin.
Associated Press reports: Dix rejected that Iowa has shifted in a lasting way beyond its half-century tradition for political balance. Instead, he says Republicans are seizing upon voter sentiment, which coincides with 20 years of pent-up Republican policy changes. To act cautiously in light of November’s heavy Republican legislative victories could hurt the GOP’s chances of holding its majority, so it’s all or nothing, Dix said. “That’s what our mandate is, and to me it’s not one that’s very patient.” Nikitas3.com comment: Good. Go for it. Democrats did not hesitate to implement the most radical agenda whenever they had the power. It must now be reversed at every opportunity.
Associated Press reports: Republican Ron Corbett, House speaker the last time his party controlled the Iowa Capitol, said Republicans showed more willingness to work with Democrats back then. That’s also in part because rural Democrats were more powerful, he said. Today, the rural-urban divide in the Iowa Legislature more closely resembles that nationwide, with Republicans dominating rural areas and Democrats the urban districts. Nikitas3.com comment: Rural and small-town Americans nationwide are ending their experiment with liberalism, which has damaged them greatly, particularly environmentalism, which has killed rural economies for decades. Even Vermont just elected a Republican governor by a whopping 9 points after the “greenies” have ruined the state’s economy.
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