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.

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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 my lifetime, like 1992 and 2008, demonstrate that a healthy amount of Democratic support came from rural and suburban areas. So where is it now? In order to fully come to terms with the landscape of the Democratic (the focus of my dissertation, thus its emphasis) and Republican parties in 2016, we need to find where they have support at the local levels.

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