President Trump’s Inaugural Address

January 21, 2017 0 Comments

President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address deviated from what we’ve come to expect from such speeches in several ways.  Of note was the president’s criticism of the “Washington establishment” while standing in “Washington” surrounded by the “establishment.” Such criticism endeared Trump to voters throughout the campaign but is also grounded in a more general feeling among […]

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Are voters moving away from the two parties?

January 19, 2017 0 Comments

Polls continue to show Americans’ attitudes toward the political system are near record lows, and this extends to all voters.  A Gallup poll released last week showed that approval of Congress is not only low (19%), but also that Democrats and Republicans are equally frustrated as a single percentage point separated the two groups. Is […]

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Early look at 2018 governor’s race

January 7, 2017 0 Comments

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is set to become the next chief executive of state, setting her up to be the incumbent heading into the 2018 gubernatorial election in Iowa. What factors are working in her favor and what could present roadblocks? First and foremost, Lt. Governor Reynolds will be Governor Reynolds in 2018 and incumbency […]

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Voter ID in Iowa?

January 6, 2017 0 Comments

On Thursday, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate held a news conference in part to issue a call to require voter identification in Iowa.  Secretary Pate indicated that such measures are about “protecting the integrity of the vote.”  As a recent report shows, however, Iowa already has a high level of electoral integrity. Political scientist […]

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Has approval of Congress finally reached a floor?

December 15, 2016 0 Comments

Gallup reported on Thursday that congressional approval will now average below 20 percent for the seventh consecutive year.  In fact, looking at monthly ratings, approval has not exceeded 30 percent since September of 2009. Using monthly approval ratings from Gallup from January of 2001 through December of 2016, I reexamined the extent to which the […]

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Branstad to China

December 7, 2016 0 Comments

If confirmed as the next ambassador to China, Governor Terry Branstad will leave behind an enormous political and policy legacy.  Most notably, when Branstad steps aside to assume his new position, it will mean Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will become Iowa’s first female governor. Governor Branstad’s confirmation as ambassador also means the record for the […]

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Does the 1st Congressional District really lean Democratic?

November 22, 2016 0 Comments

In my previous blog I examined county-level votes within the 1st Congressional District, comparing vote totals for the Republican presidential candidates in 2012 and 2016.  The considerable shift observed in that analysis is also evident when looking at the vote for 1st Congressional District candidates in 2014 and 2016. First, in terms of party registration, […]

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1st District completely reverses itself from 2012

November 18, 2016 0 Comments

While the analysis of voting data from last week’s election continues, early reports in key states suggest Donald Trump was able to win rural areas by larger than expected margins.  For example, in Wisconsin, while Clinton won the urban areas of Madison and Milwaukee by margins similar to what Obama did in 2012, she lost […]

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Iowa votes and swings the most

November 9, 2016 0 Comments

As mentioned in my election recap blog, turnout nationally was down from earlier predictions. In Iowa, the latest data from the Iowa Secretary of State’s website indicates 1.56 million votes cast for the top of the ticket.  As a percentage of active registered voters, this is down slightly from 2012.  I had predicted turnout in […]

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Unexpected results

November 9, 2016 0 Comments

I was wrong many times throughout this campaign. From Donald Trump’s dominance throughout the Republican nomination process, to the competitiveness of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic caucuses and primaries, to Donald Trump’s election as president last night, I was wrong. Why? Political science research shows that the “invisible primary” matters, that endorsements from party leaders […]

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