Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Political Influence of Upper Midwest In Decline?

Bookmark and Share

Iowa's influence on presidential politics is in the spotlight right now, with its caucuses now just 37 days away, on January 3, 2008. The winner of each party's caucus is by no means guaranteed to go on and win the nomination, but a surprise showing can go a long way in propelling a candidate with the momentum he or she needs to remain competitive throughout the rest of January and into the Super Tuesday primaries of February 5th when voters in as many as 20 states will go to the polls.

Despite Iowa's role in the presidential selection process, the influence of that state, and the Upper Midwest generally, has been waning over the decades as populations here stagnate relative to the rest of the country. As a result, through reapportionment, the level of representation of Upper Midwestern states in the U.S. House is about to reach a low water mark not seen since the 1870s.

Iowa is currently projected to lose one seat in the 2012 reapportionment, which would bring its total down to 4 seats—its lowest total since the 1850s, when it sent two representatives to the House.

Should Iowa lose a seat, the political battleground states of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will only send 20 representatives to the House, a drop of nearly 40 percent of its level of representation in the 1920s when the three states sent 32 representatives to the lower chamber on the Hill.

The voice of Upper Midwesterners has been gradually watered down ever since—dropping to 28 seats in the 1930s, 27 seats in the 1940s, 25 seats in the 1960s, 23 seats in the 1970s, 22 seats in the 1990s, and 21 seats in the 2000s after Wisconsin lost a seat in 2002.

Since the 1920s, Minnesota has been the most stable of the three states — losing only 2 seats, and none since the 1960s. Wisconsin has lost 3 seats and Iowa has dropped from 11 seats to potentially just 4 in 2012.

When South Dakota, which gained statehood in 1889, is factored into the numbers, the drop is even more severe. The four states totaled 35 representatives in the 1920s, a drop of 14 seats to just 21 in 2012.

Despite this (comparatively) downward population trend in the region, the Upper Midwest, including Iowa, remains vigorously opposed to the influx of illegal immigration into the country and region, as documented regularly here at Smart Politics. There is little doubt illegal immigration will continue to play a role in the decrease of the Upper Midwestern delegation in future generations as populations surge in America's southwest.

Previous post: South Dakota US Senate Historical Snapshot
Next post: Huckabee Takes First Lead In Iowa

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting