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Category: Midwest

Al Franken’s Impending Resignation and the 40th Anniversary of the Minnesota Massacre

Al Franken’s Impending Resignation and the 40th Anniversary of the Minnesota Massacre

Amid calls from dozens of Democratic lawmakers in Washington for Minnesota Senator Al Franken (DFL) to resign in the wake of allegations of sexual assault and harassment, the Minnesota DFL must tread lightly in the upcoming months as it faces the potential for contesting three statewide elections in 2018 if Franken resigns. In addition to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s re-election bid and the wide-open DFL gubernatorial race, a special election for Franken’s seat (again, this is all predicated on him resigning)…

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Barnstorming the Midwest: Superior

Barnstorming the Midwest: Superior

When historians talk iron ore and the Midwest, we’re all familiar with the docks of Duluth and the radicalism of the Iron Range. But less often, we talk about the forgotten “twin” of the Twin Ports, Superior, Wisconsin.

Barnstorming the Midwest: Milwaukee, Part 1

Barnstorming the Midwest: Milwaukee, Part 1

Since I’m on this barnstorming tour for the remainder of 2017, I don’t need to live in Milwaukee until the spring, meaning I’m moving out of my apartment. That meant the unenviable task of cleaning it out but also provided the opportunity to use the Marquette University Archives, which play host to dozens and dozens of feet of relevant material from some of Wisconsin’s prominent politicians of the 1980s. There are 2200 words ahead, click on if you dare.

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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Barnstorming: Pierre, South Dakota

Barnstorming: Pierre, South Dakota

Alternatively titled: Keeping Up A-Pierre-ances Having just returned from a brief trip to Dallas, I was in Minnesota long enough to do some laundry, spend a half-hour with my mom on Mother’s Day, get a few camping supplies, pack up the car, and catch four hours of sleep before I left for Pierre at 5am on Monday the 15th. The drive across western Minnesota and South Dakota was not nearly as painful as I made it out to be, aided…

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Mapping Party Control of State Legislatures in the Upper Midwest

Mapping Party Control of State Legislatures in the Upper Midwest

In preparation for a panel on the Midwest in the 2016 elections for the Midwestern History Association Conference in Grand Rapids this June, I’m working on my particular focus: down-ballot elections. My biggest problem was this–besides saying “things didn’t go well for Democrats,” I had little-to-no idea how to show that (Ted, if you read this, I swear things are going better now). We talk a lot about the growing rural-urban divide between Republicans and Democrats, but elections within even…

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