Election Coverage / Government Watch / Politics

Minnewisowa Nears the Finish Line

AMAC Exclusive – By Barry Casselman

Minnewisowa

Originally coined to describe the Electoral College voting patterns of three contiguous and demographically similar Midwestern states (MINNesota, WISconsin and IOWA) in recent presidential elections, the term “Minnewisowa” is pertinent in national mid-term elections as well. (Full disclosure: I introduced the term in a Washington Times article in 2004.)

As Election Day 2022 nears, Minnewisowa once again appears to be a bellwether of the nation’s volatile voter mood. Located in the American heartland, these three states often reflect the direction and dynamics of the national electorate — sometimes Democrat and sometimes Republican, usually with a large independent base determining who wins.

The three states each have significant agricultural areas, one very large urban center, and similar historical, ethnic, and other demographic characteristics.

Currently, Iowa has a Republican governor and legislature; Minnesota has a Democrat (Democratic-Farmer-Labor or DFL) governor and divided legislature; and Wisconsin has a Democrat governor and a Republican legislature. All three governors, as well as most of the legislators, are up for re-election this year, and their prospects could provide useful clues to results elsewhere throughout the country.

Iowa GOP Governor Kim Reynolds has been one of the nation’s most consistently popular state executives in recent years, and is expected to win re-election against Democrat Diedre DeJeer. Republicans control three of the four Iowa congressional seats and appear to have a good chance to pick up the fourth, Iowa-01, now held by Democrat Congresswoman Cindy Axne. Her opponent is GOP nominee Zach Nunn. Long-time Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is expected to win re-election against challenger Mike Franken. Since the 2020 debacle of the Iowa Democratic Caucus, this state’s liberal party has seemed to be in various conditions of disarray.

Minnesota, meanwhile, has had DFL governors since 2010, and has a DFL-controlled state house but a GOP state senate. The latest polls indicate some Republican momentum in the races for governor, state constitutional officers, and the state legislature. DFL Governor Tim Walz has held a slight edge over GOP nominee Dr. Scott Jensen, an outspoken conservative physician, in polling, but has been routinely under 50%. The latest poll has them statistically tied.

Republicans are viewed as having a good chance to retake the state house as well as retain control of the state senate. The Minnesota congressional delegation is currently split 4-4, but the MN-02 seat, currently held by DFLer Angie Craig, is rated a toss-up against Republican Tyler Kistner, who almost beat her in 2020. The GOP might have the momentum now, but the DFL is generally much better funded and historically has had a superior voter ID operation and get-out-the-vote organization. The state, as is the case in so many other states, has a clear divide between rural and urban voters, and big margins for the DFL in the Twin Cities have given the liberal party a distinct electoral advantage in the recent past. High crime and urban violence in the Twin Cities, however, might dampen some of that advantage. Final results in Minnesota this cycle could reflect any new directions in voting patterns elsewhere.

Wisconsin Democrat Governor Tony Evers, like Governor Walz in adjoining Minnesota, does not enjoy the continuing popularity of Iowa Governor Reynolds, and currently trails his Republican opponent Tim Michels, a Trump-backed businessman, in recent polls. In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent GOP Senator Ron Johnson leads Democrat Mandela Barnes in his re-election effort. Since Wisconsin polls have a history of undermeasuring conservative voters, the GOP lead so close to the election, albeit small, seems to indicate a Republican trend this cycle that could also result in a GOP pick-up of the seat now held by Democrat Congressman Ron Kind, who is retiring. In that WI-03 race, liberal Brad Pfaff is running against conservative Derrick Van Orden.

This mid-term cycle, more than most, appears to be a nationalized election. But the two polarizing figures who loom ahead in the 2024 presidential election, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, seem perhaps less the focus of that nationalization than do problematic economic and social issues that affect voters everywhere.

Since only a few federal seats are likely to change hands in Minnewisowa in 2022, while the whole range of statewide offices, including state legislative races, are being contested, the outcomes in those races could reveal voter attitudes toward political party policies at the local and state level elsewhere — as well as provide valuable clues to what voters in those states will do in 2024.


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John Doe
1 month ago

Test

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1 month ago

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BACKWOODS
1 month ago

Polls are polls we need to get out and vote in person and in numbers that make it impossible to cheat.

joe mchugh
2 months ago

And there it is, ………. again! The inner city votes consistently favor the Democrat candidates.
Why? The usual voters for the Democrats basically regard the Democrat Party as a “protector” that will hold the hands of those people who don’t believe that they can make it otherwise.

This is why the Democrats do well at the polling places when they should crash and burn just like all of the other societies that experimented with socialism.
“Elect me and I will work to compel the rich and middle class to pay their fair share of the taxes.
Those that receive more than average income are taking advantage of the lower earning classes.”

Sound familiar? It should because Karl Marx popularized this thinking in 1848 by declaring,
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Accoding to Marx, the floor sweeper’s labor has equal value when compared to the brain surgeon. And your “needs” are determined by the bureaucrat, not by the person doing the work.

Socialism is toxic to human aspirations, unless you aspire to indolence. The laggards and sluggards always support the candidate who promises something for nothing.

Mario Capparuccini
2 months ago
Reply to  joe mchugh

That is why the privilege to vote should only be given to people who pay taxes. Voting is not a right. The able bodied indolent should not be able to vote. A person on welfare should not be able to vote, unless they return to work.

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