Skip to main content

Statement from right-winger in Topix forum
"Since 1984, A republican candidate has won Iowa once (2004). Why? State is like 98 % White. Why isn't Iowa conservative like Kansas and Nebraska? Or the Dakotas.Eastern IA is mostly farmers. Aren't farmers less dependent upon the GIVERment? How could anyone support gay marriage and abortion?"

Link to Topix Forum on Why Iowa is So Liberal?

My response:
"Maybe many Iowans do NOT hold negative stereotypes of large segments of the population, do NOT vote out of hate for people who are different than they are, do NOT believe that everyone who isn't like themself is in a state of dependency, and DO believe that people should have some privacy and personal choice of how they run their personal affairs even if they wouldn't make some of the same choices. Maybe Iowans are fairminded and simply vote for what they believe is best for public policy and society, as opposed to running around putting down people and engaging in the politics of resentment?"

Personally,  I think Democrats underperform in rural areas across the country.   There are many people voting against their own interests because right-wingers stir up social issues (e.g., anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-feminist) to stigmatize people and keep potential progressive populist political coalitions from forming.    This isn't just recent history or from the 1960s - even back in the 1890s, a populist movement in the South and West was splintered by using race as a wedge issue.

Would the Democrats not be a clear majority party if not for appeals to politics of division put forward by the right-wing that seem to disproportionately affect the progressive or Democratic vote in rural areas?


Which region are Democrats underperforming the most in rural areas?

7%9 votes
16%19 votes
6%8 votes
43%51 votes
0%1 votes
10%12 votes
6%7 votes
2%3 votes
3%4 votes
1%2 votes

| 116 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  The rural GOP wedge issue haters get away with (3+ / 0-)

    this in many rural areas of the country.  If you sakare people and play on these fears and there is little or not information about the alternatives you get Tea Bagger wins.  We must confront all of them in coming elections and ask people to vote for a better America where minorities, women and gays are full participants in this democracy:  we can become the country we dream of.  Iowans show a different side of rural America, and they are leaders in this effort.  Sen. Tom Harkin, (D Iowa) is one of their great contributions to all of us and especially to Americans with disabilities, whom he championed and has made the US the world leader on these issues of full citizenship for all our people.

  •  I have a reason (at least for Iowa) (7+ / 0-)

    My mom's family settled in Iowa in the 1910s and I am told they were proud of being from a state that was 99% fertile (the land) and 98% literate.  Those attitudes go a long way to explaining rural progressives.

    Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

    by DavidMS on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:09:48 PM PST

    •  Religion and ethnicity? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akze29, JamieG from Md

      I read a fascinating study on this. I cant find the source but it compared voting maps with the religion and ethnicity of the settling populations.
      Areas with Scandinavian settlers were more liberal because they came from a more "liberal" tradition of government. In more recent times, some of the areas in eastern Iowa had a longstanding Hispanic immigration to continue this into modern times.
      On the religious front, liberal areas were settled by more mainstream or old line religions. I specifically remember Evangelical Lutherans being identified because it is so odd that a church with the word "Evangelical" in it actually identifies with all that "Jesus stuff". Surrounded by the Missouri synod Lutherans, I sometimes forget that.
      I wish I could find it as it was fascinating. It also studied similar areas in surrounding states where the same patterns held true.

  •  How the Tea Party secured a victory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RedPrairie, Odysseus

    in Maine with about 33 percent of the vote: independent candidates and voters. I know there are lots of independent voters all over the country, but they play a special role in Maine and have for a very long time because often they are also viable candidates for office. Our new Senator--a former Democrat, btw--Angus King was unaffiliated as Governor and now is as a US Senator. But in a six way race, the Tea Party in the form of Paul LePage managed to end up winning Blaine House with a third of the votes being the majority of the votes.

    At the same time, the same rural/working class/blue collar Francophones/plutocrat coalition who helped put him in office two years ago also rejected the 2009 repeal of marriage equality making Maine again a marriage equality state.

    I am convinced that social wedge issues have a lot to do with people voting against their own self interest. Some, but not all of them are rural/live in mostly rural/small population states. Combine that with odd electoral politics like we have here in Maine, and you can get a tea party governor who has no business in Blaine House AND marriage equality.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:48:53 PM PST

    •  So get IRV into place already. (0+ / 0-)

      There's no reason that multiple clearly defined voting groups have to have a process that guarantees bad results.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:41:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guns, God, and Gays. The gay issue is going away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim in IA

    away, but God and Guns are still used in the western part of the state to make us purple. Remember, we just elected Steve King by 8 points against a great challenger. Boswell lost to Latham by more.

    The great thing about Iowa is that we don't hate. The gun issue may be a turning point. If we can get background checks, smaller clips, and not do the assault weapons ban, it might keep voters.

    In our area, we had two great legislators out of Emmettsburg, Marcie Frevert and Jack Kibbie. In this election, we had two great democratic candidates running in the statehouse races these two candidates had represented. However, all the of the middle of the road farmers voted republican even though the republicans killed the farm bill. That unexpected turn gave the races to the republicans in the area and King. Until the farmers see the democrats as part of the solution, it will be hard to win rural areas in at least the western part of the state. Remember the most red county in the country is Sioux County!

  •  I have to believe it is because Iowa is one of, if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not the best educated state in America.  K to 14 (community college) is almost universal in Iowa, as I recall, and I think this is likely why Liberals do well there.

    A good education and voting for Republicans do not mix.  Why do you think Republicans have been for years, trying to destroy public education in America?  It's not just about busting teacher unions, of course that factors in, but  in my opinion, the reason Republicans, especially Radical Republicans are hostile to public education is that people with good critical thinking skills would rarely vote for a Republican.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:16:00 PM PST

    •  good education for all means (0+ / 0-)

      that the kids of the rich might lose out to smart kids from poor families.  Can't let that happen, gotta K-12 public education.  

      And keep post-secondary education too expensive for the proles to afford, or cause student debt so crushing that graduates will take any crap job, with no benefits.  

      Maybe a contributing factor to Iowa's liberalness is its scarcity of multinational CEO's and those clever folks afflicted with obscene greediness.

      "The will must be stronger than the skill." M. Ali

      by awhitestl on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:11:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I may be wrong (0+ / 0-)

    But isn't there a lot of government support for agriculture?  Don't know if that means your average farmer is "dependent" on the government or not, I imagine a lot of the subsidies go to the bigger agribusiness operations.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:50:20 PM PST

  •  Iowa is progressive (0+ / 0-)

    for a number of reasons...among them is:

    1. Back to the Civil War,Iowa had a higher percentage of citizens in for the North than any other state...very anti-slavery due to religious reasons,mainly.

    2. Extremely high literacy rate,and good education system tradition.

    3. Henry Wallace came from Iowa,and he was a strong voice of progressivism back in the 30's and 40's.

    4. Farmers tend to be internationalists due to the export markets being so critical for their products. They want peace and trade.

    5. Tolerance is engrained in this state.

    6. Caucus process has engaged a higher number of the citizenry in politics,meaning they learn the issues with greater depth,and can cut thru the BS.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site