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Month: June 2017

Barnstorming the Midwest: Iowa City, Pt. 1

Barnstorming the Midwest: Iowa City, Pt. 1

Following a week in Saint Paul and a scattered week between Ames, Iowa; Bloomington, Indiana; and Black River Falls, Wisconsin (the first two business, the latter pleasure); I packed my things for a few days in Iowa City, a brief interim trip to Grand Rapids (more on that coming), and another full week at the University of Iowa. As such, I think this will post roughly in order of my bloggable trips, but if not, I did my best. I…

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Barnstorming the Midwest: Bloomington, Indiana

Barnstorming the Midwest: Bloomington, Indiana

Between my trips to Saints Paul and Cloud and Iowa City, I presented or participated at three conferences relevant to various aspects of my dissertation: the Working Class Studies Association Conference (Bloomington, IN); and the back-to-back Midwestern History Association Conference and Agricultural History Society Annual Meeting (Grand Rapids, MI). Having realized halfway in how long this post would be if I recapped all three conferences, I’ll focus first on the WCSA. I left Ames, Iowa, at about 8pm CT after…

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Barnstorming the Midwest: Saints Paul and…Cloud?

Barnstorming the Midwest: Saints Paul and…Cloud?

I needed a little break after a week of camping in Pierre, so a little time spent among familiar papers in the Twin Cities–those of Saint Paul Mayor George Latimer–seemed just fine by me. Of course, given that the Minnesota Historical Society is closed on Monday, I decided to head up to a collection that had always intrigued me, the papers of Gene Wenstrom, perennial Seventh District congressional candidate in the early 1980s. Challenging incumbent Independent-Republican Arlan Stangeland, who won…

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Rural Democrats? Don’t call it a comeback.

Rural Democrats? Don’t call it a comeback.

The 2016 elections, in addition to making what I am trying to get a PhD in about 100x more relevant than I ever could have done myself, have also led to a very, very obnoxious trend among national political outlets: a newfound fascination with rural or agriculturally-oriented Democratic interests, groups, and politicians. Take, for example, the Washington Post‘s breathless exploration in November 2016 of “Why rural voters don’t vote Democratic anymore,” in which they suddenly rediscover Collin Peterson (DFL-MN7). In the…

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Diverging Democrats: Minnesota and Wisconsin in the Farm Crisis Election

Diverging Democrats: Minnesota and Wisconsin in the Farm Crisis Election

Key Points: (1) differences in strength of legislative affiliation between rural activist groups and urban legislators, and (2) better development of a language of economic progressive populism which more effectively—though not completely—bridged the rural-urban divide in Minnesota. Farmer’s Rally, State Capital, St. Paul, Minnesota, from the “Farm Families” project. Arndt, Thomas Frederick January 1985 1986 Wisconsin Lt. Gov and US Senate Primary Comparing Minnesota and Wisconsin in 1986

Down-Ballot Elections in the Midwest, 2016

Down-Ballot Elections in the Midwest, 2016

The following are excerpts from a larger panel titled “The New Midwestern Politics? The 2016 Election and Beyond” at the 2017 Midwestern History Association Conference, hosted at Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus in Grand Rapids, MI, and hosted by the Ralph Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Feel free to contact me with questions about the maps, findings, or methodology. CH

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