President speaks to Iowans: Part campaign, part convention

June 22, 2017 0 Comments

In many ways, President Trump’s speech at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday was an extension of the speech he gave in the same city nearly eight months ago.  By my account, at least twenty-one issues (or combinations of issues) were mentioned last night and back in October. As presidents (and members […]

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Tone not helping health care debate

June 20, 2017 0 Comments

Even if a revised American Health Care Act is passed by the U.S. Senate this week or next, don’t expect attitudes toward Congress to change. Previous research has shown that approval of Congress is not linked to policy gains and losses, but instead more of a reflection about how Congress operates.  Voters are turned off […]

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Governor Reynolds facing crucial first test

June 13, 2017 0 Comments

As reported in the Des Moines Register on Tuesday, lower than projected state revenues have created a budgetary shortfall for the current fiscal year.  In May, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that Iowa was one of twelve states facing a shortfall in FY 2017 and FY 2018.  How these shortfalls are handled will […]

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Iowa’s new governor

May 24, 2017 0 Comments

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds was officially sworn in as Governor Reynolds this morning.  In a previous blog, I discussed my research on what makes Iowa governors popular (and unpopular).  A complete review of that research can be found here. Governor Reynolds is now officially the incumbent and will be for the 2018 primary.  A challenge […]

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How Democratic is your county?

May 5, 2017 0 Comments
How Democratic is your county?

This past semester I worked with Sarah Hofmeyer, a UNI student double-majoring in political science and public administration, on creating a map to show changes in partisanship over the last five presidential elections for all counties in Iowa (2000-2016).  To do this, we first collected party registration data from the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.  […]

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Did the FBI cause Clinton to lose?

May 4, 2017 0 Comments

Hillary Clinton seemed to suggest as much when she said in an interview on Tuesday, “If the election had been on Oct. 27, I’d be your president.”  For that statement to be true, three other assumptions must also hold for which there is little empirical support. First, we now know that polling (which suggested Clinton […]

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What to watch in the 2018 gubernatorial race

April 26, 2017 0 Comments

Research on American governors has generally indicated that two factors significantly affect a governor’s popularity among constituents: 1) state economic performance relative to the national economy, and 2) shared party affiliation with the president.  In short, politics and economics. In my book on Iowa governors, Gubernatorial Stability in Iowa, I argue there is a third […]

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No wall, no problem for Trump supporters

April 25, 2017 0 Comments

According to NBC News, President Trump is now reconsidering the inclusion of a border wall in this year’s budget.  If the wall is not included, it will mark the second major campaign promise that has fallen short in recent weeks (the other being the failure to replace Obamacare with the American Health Care Act). But […]

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Policy differences among Trump and non-Trump voters in Iowa

April 14, 2017 0 Comments
Policy differences among Trump and non-Trump voters in Iowa

In the previous blog I used CCES data to show how Trump and non-Trump voters in Iowa differ in regards to concealed-carry permits.  In a series of Twitter posts, I showed how this partisan divide extends to environmental regulation and foreign policy intervention. The Iowa House recently passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks.  […]

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Partisan divide on concealed-carry permits

April 11, 2017 0 Comments
Partisan divide on concealed-carry permits

As O. Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa reported on Monday, Governor Branstad is expected to sign legislation that “will allow the nearly quarter of a million Iowans with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns into the State Capitol.”  Given the significance of this change to existing law, it is worth examining how Iowans feel […]

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