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

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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Introducing: Barnstorming the Midwest

Introducing: Barnstorming the Midwest

At the urging of my wonderful colleague and deskmate, Marquette MA graduate and MA Student of the Year Emily Dattilo, I am going to do my best this summer to keep something of a travelblog(ue?) as I barnstorm (get it) the Midwest filling out the first legs of my research for my dissertation-in-progress, “Midwestern Liberalism in the Age of Reagan, 1978-1992.” Here are what I think are quick-and-dirty FAQs on this research/blogging project: Why are you blogging and not focusing…

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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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Reflections on a Semester in the Digital Past

Reflections on a Semester in the Digital Past

The assignment: At the completion of the semester, you will write a reflective essay that summarizes your learning and growth during the class. These essays should be no more than 2,000 words. This is a chance for you to process your work and to consider the ways that it will contribute to your future ventures. This is my last assignment of 2016. We finally made it.

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