Growing polarization among Iowa counties

October 26, 2016 0 Comments

A recent analysis in The Atlantic shows that in four battleground states (Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio) the Democratic advantage in terms of presidential vote share has increased in more urban and diverse areas since 2004.  Rural and less diverse areas, by contrast, have become more Republican. Does such a division exist in Iowa? […]

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Are you a Clinton-Grassley voter?

October 12, 2016 0 Comments

In August, Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register provided a fascinating and in-depth look at the extent to which voters in Iowa have split their tickets when voting, specifically the ability of Senator Chuck Grassley to “win over” Democrats. Based on recent polls, that analysis will again ring true this Election Day. On Sunday, […]

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Even among battleground states, Iowa stands out

October 6, 2016 0 Comments

As was the case in 2008 and 2012, just a handful of states are getting the majority of attention in this year’s presidential race.  These “battleground states,” also called “tossups” or “swing” states, are where campaigns are spending the vast amount of their time and resources. Iowa is one of these battleground states, and as […]

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Is Iowa all in as a Republican state?

September 28, 2016 0 Comments

This week’s edition of “The Crystal Ball” by Larry J. Sabato and his colleagues has Iowa trending Republican in the race for the presidency, the U.S. Senate, and the third congressional district.  I have no reason to doubt these rankings, but if they are an accurate reading of public opinion in the state, do the […]

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Debate recap: Reassuring supporters

September 26, 2016 0 Comments

Several articles have been written in recent days making clear the political science research showing the minimal effects presidential debates have on the race for the presidency.  An excellent summary, provided by John Sides of The Washington Post, goes over the reasons for the non-effects, including: unreliable or irregularly timed polls, other events, “non-differential response rates,” […]

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Where have you gone, Cal Ripken?

September 16, 2016 0 Comments

In 1995, many sportswriters at the time wrote about how Cal Ripken, Jr. “saved baseball” (following the disastrous 1994 strike) when he graciously broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played.  Recent data suggests faith in the political system is in desperate need of being saved. According to the American National Election Studies, the percentage […]

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Why the 1st District is so competitive

September 14, 2016 0 Comments

It is no secret that the race for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is competitive.  Roll Call recently ranked Republican Rod Blum as the second most vulnerable incumbent in the country.  The source of that vulnerability can be traced to three factors: 1) The district is Democratically-independent.  What does that mean?  According to the September numbers […]

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Undecided or reluctant voters?

September 12, 2016 0 Comments

Independents, or “persuadable” or “swing” voters, are looked to as the group of voters who will decide the presidential election.  Given the structure of the Electoral College, it is really just undecided voters in a handful of states, including Iowa. But are voters undecided or just reluctant? Polling data at times seems to overestimate the […]

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Don’t forget about the Iowa Senate

September 9, 2016 0 Comments

While the presidential race has captured most of the attention, 25 seats in the 50 seat chamber that is the Iowa Senate will once again be on the ballot this November. Since January of 2011, Democrats in the Iowa Senate have held a narrow 26 to 24 majority, withstanding the differential ebbs and flows that […]

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Why dueling speeches?

September 1, 2016 0 Comments

By most accounts, Donald Trump gave two very different looking and sounding speeches yesterday in Mexico City and Phoenix.  The first speech, a presser with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, was considered “more presidential,” while the second speech seemed more like a campaign rally for GOP party activists. But elections are about winning more […]

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