Anti-abortion flyer with the headline "Vote for the unborn in the June 6th primary!"

How Midwestern Democrats confronted “the abortion issue”

In 1978 and 1980, on the Sundays before primary and Election Day, voters in some Midwestern states returned to their cars after church services to find a flyer tucked under their windshield or an activist waiting on the sidewalk just off church property to hand…
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Banner reading "Wellstone for State Auditor: A Populist on the State DFL Ticket"

Progressive Populism on the Campaign Trail // Barnstorming the Midwest: Northfield

How do you run an authentic, progressive, populist campaign that empowers grassroots activists across a state as geographically, occupationally, and (occasionally) ethnically diverse as Minnesota?Go to Northfield to find the answer.
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Barnstorming the Midwest: Northeastern South Dakota

In 1985 the South Dakota Legislature voted to put all 105 of them, plus the governor, on chartered planes to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress for action on the Farm Crisis. (Got all that?)
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Columbia Manor, Minneapolis

WPA, Then and Now: Digital Humanities and Minnesota History, Pt. I

As my students work on their final Citizen-Historian Project (read more here), I feel like it's only fair that I participate with them. So let's hit the Internet, hit our bikes, and log some New Deal sites around Minneapolis for the Living New Deal project!
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Barnstorming the Midwest: Ames

Far from being an isolated or parochial political movement, the progressive populists of the 1980s Farm Crisis had a wide-ranging vision to reform American agriculture and foreign policy. And to find out how? Go to Ames! Or click “Read More”!
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Barnstorming the Midwest: Carbondale

Two of the biggest symbols in my dissertation are Paul Wellstone’s green bus and Russ Feingold’s painted garage. But they tapped into a deeper tradition of symbols and rhetoric in Midwestern liberalism, and I needed to go to southern Illinois to trace that backwards.
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Barnstorming the Midwest: Stevens Point

Abortion, tensions with Native Americans, anti-labor sentiments, and rurality…and northern Wisconsin stayed in the Democratic column from 1969 until 2011. Why? I headed to Stevens Point, in part, to fill in my dissertation with two striking figures in Wisconsin political history, Dave Obey and Lee…
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Barnstorming the Midwest: Fargo-Moorhead

Recapping my three trips (from November 2017 to August 2018) to Fargo and Moorhead, I’m committing one of the sins that I swore I wouldn’t commit during the fits and starts of this Barnstorming series — lumping interstate city clusters together. I held off for…
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Rural/Urban/Suburban Divides: Spot the Difference!

We talk a lot in today’s day and age about the rural-urban divides that plague American politics. But where do those divides come from? Can we pinpoint their genesis?
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Barnstorming the Midwest (and Beyond): Where I’ve Been

All these posts throughout my little “Barnstorming” series had me curious where I’d been (and how much I’d written): twenty-seven cities, thirty-plus archives, and almost 22,000 miles on my Ford Focus later. [Update: Happy 2019! I’ve added a few cities and a couple blog posts.…
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