Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Minnesota Remains Obama's Upper Midwestern Stronghold

Bookmark and Share

President Barack Obama's clean sweep through Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin en route to his 2008 presidential election victory continues what has been a historical pattern for most of the past 150 years.

These three Upper Midwestern states have historically been a key electoral bloc for successful presidential campaigns since 1860, the first such election after the Gopher State achieved statehood. Presidential nominees who have swept through these states have won 23 of 27 elections during this span.

Only Al Gore (2000), Michael Dukakis (1988), Charles Hughes (1916), and James Blaine (1884) failed to win the White House after sweeping Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

However, while the support President Obama enjoyed nationwide at the onset of his term has eroded, as expected, in several "McCain states" across the country, he has seen some of the biggest erosion occur in (light) blue states right here in the Upper Midwest.

The latest SurveyUSA polling, conducted a little over a week ago, finds that while Obama's approval rating remains fairly steady in Minnesota, it has declined noticeably in the neighboring states of Iowa and Wisconsin.

In Minnesota, 55 percent of adults approve of Obama's job performance - up from 53 percent in August and 51 percent in July. Although Obama's rating is down from his high water mark of 64 percent back at the beginning of his 'honeymoon period' in January of this year, it is still slightly north of the percentage of Minnesotans who voted for him last November (54 percent).

This is not the case for Obama in Minnesota's neighbors to the south and east.

Although Obama had a virtually identical level of support on Election Day in Iowa (54 percent) and Wisconsin (56 percent) as he did in Minnesota, his approval rating has fallen to 46 and 47 percent in the Hawkeye and Badger States respectively.

The 16.1 percent drop-off in support for Obama since the November election among Wisconsinites and 14.8 percent decline among Iowans are the largest among the 13 states tracked each month by SurveyUSA.

The low marks received by Obama in Iowa and Wisconsin do not appear to be statistical aberrations - the President received an approval rating of 45 percent in both states in SurveyUSA's August round of polling as well.

Since January, Obama's job performance rating has dropped 32.9 percent in Wisconsin (from 70 to 47 percent) and 32.4 percent in Iowa (from 68 to 46 percent).

Minnesota is one of only three states tracked by SurveyUSA in which Obama's current approval rating is higher than the percentage of the vote he received last November (the others being Oregon at +2 points and California at +1).

Barack Obama Approval Ratings Vis-à-vis Percentage of Presidential Vote Received

State
Approval
Vote
Diff.
% Diff.
Oregon
59
57
+2
+3.5
Minnesota
55
54
+1
+1.9
California
62
61
+1
+1.6
New York
63
63
0
0.0
Kentucky
39
41
-2
-4.9
Alabama
37
39
-2
-5.1
Washington
53
57
-4
-7.0
Kansas
39
42
-3
-7.1
Virginia
49
53
-4
-7.5
Missouri
44
49
-5
-10.2
New Mexico
50
57
-7
-12.3
Iowa
46
54
-8
-14.8
Wisconsin
47
56
-9
-16.1
Average
49.5
52.5
-3.1
-5.9
Source: SurveyUSA polls of 600 adults in each state, conducted September 27-28, 2009.

A recent Star Tribune poll found Obama with a 51 percent approval rating in the Gopher State and a 45 percent disapproval rating. The SurveyUSA poll measured Obama's disapproval rating at just 40 percent.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Absence Does Not Make the Heart Grow Fonder: Pawlenty Disapproval Rating Reaches All-Time High
Next post: Midwest Has Highest Per Capita Rate of Iraq War Fatalities and Casualties

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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