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Category: Midwest

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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The Midwest and the Election of 2016

The Midwest and the Election of 2016

Because – and believe me, only because – I study the Midwest for fun and (hopefully) profit/employment, I wanted to note its role in last night’s historic election. First, I think it’s important to note that I do not want this election to change how I write my dissertation. While I know that’s virtually impossible on the micro-level, I remain confident in my preliminary findings that a new, distinctly Midwestern flavor of liberalism emerged between 1978 and 1992. Russ Feingold’s defeat by…

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