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 Ron Johnson, Wisconsin’s flip to red for the first time since 1984, and even the jarringly close results in Minnesota do little to change the fact that a regional brand of progressive populism drove Midwestern Democrats like Tom Daschle, Tom Harkin, Paul Wellstone, and yes, Russ Feingold into the Senate.

Instead, I just want to share a couple things I find really, really interesting from this election and maaaaybe hint at why the period from 1992-2016 will be a fun one for historians of Clintonism to look back on and flesh out.

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