Saturday, October 24, 2020

Iowa-- A Bellwether Of The COVID Election?



Obama won Iowa both times he ran (53.9% to 44.4% in 2008 and 52% to 46.2% in 2012) but 4 years later Trump slaughtered Hillary by almost 10 points there-- 800,983 (51.15%) to 653,669 (41.74%). On the right is the 2016 state map by county and on the left is the 2008 map. That's some turn-around! But don't be surprised if the 2020 map looks more like 2008 map than the 2016 map.

And yet... 2 years later, Iowans were already starting to go south on Trump. Although Republican Kim Reynolds beat a weak Democratic opponent in 2018 (50.3% to 47.5%), the state's one Democratic member of Congress, Dave Loebsack won his seat 54.8% to 42.6%, while 2 of the 3 Republican members of Congress lost their seats to extremely weak candidates, Abby Finkenauer unseating Rod Blum 51% to 45.9% and Cindy Axne beating David Young 49.4% to 47.2%. Even the one Republican who was reelected, Steve King, in the reddest part of the state, had a close call, almost losing to J.D. Scholten 157,676 (50.4%) to 147,246 (47%).

This year Governor Reynolds-- luckily for her-- in not on the ballot, but Senator Joni Ernst is-- and she's down by nearly 2 points in the Real Clear Politics polling average. Their polling average shows Biden ahead of Trump 47.2% to 46.4%. And a new Monmouth poll of the congressional districts, shows Finkenauer and Axne headed for reelection, Finkenauer by 8 points and Axne by 9 points. With Loebsack retiring, the GOP is making a play for his seat-- but isn't getting anywhere. Democrat Rita Hart is beating Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, 49% to 43%. And in the red 4th district, Randy Feenstra knocked King out in the primary but is locked in a tight race with J.D. Scholten (48-42%, with Scholten rapidly closing the gap).

Iowa has been hit hard by the pandemic and most people understand exactly who to blame: Trump and his puppet governor, Kim Reynolds. On Friday, the state reported 1,111 new cases, bring the state's total to 112,928-- a horrendous 35,793 cases per million Iowans. That's the 7th worst in the country! Writing for the NY Times yesterday, Trip Gabriel and Astead Herndon reported that Reynolds' resistance to a mask mandate is doing in the GOP in Iowa. "As Iowa set a record for patients hospitalized with Covid-19," they wrote, "Gov. Kim Reynolds appeared at an indoor fund-raiser for the Republican Party this week, just days after joining President Trump at one of his huge rallies in Des Moines, where she tossed hats to the clamorous crowd. At neither event were social distancing or face masks high priorities. The rally last week defied guidelines by the White House’s own health experts that crowds in central Iowa be limited to 25. Iowa’s governor is not on the ballot next month. But her defiant attitude toward the advice of health experts on how to fight the coronavirus outbreak, as her state sees a grim tide of new cases and deaths, may be dragging down fellow Republicans who are running, including Mr. Trump and Senator Joni Ernst."

Older voters, in particular, have abandoned the GOP in droves because of the risk Trump and Reynolds are needlessly subjecting them to by ignoring public health professionals.
“Our older Iowans-- many have not been able to leave their homes because they do not feel safe,” said Representative Cindy Axne, a first-term Democrat who represents Des Moines and southwest Iowa. “If you go into a grocery store, the large majority of people are not wearing masks.”

Ms. Axne added that disappointment with the governor’s handling of the virus was lifting Democrats like her who are on the ballot this year. “Voters know we’re standing up to keep their families safe,” she said.

...Reynolds has called mask mandates “feel-good” actions and refused to issue a statewide directive, unlike Republican governors in such states as Texas and Ohio. At the same time, she has blocked municipalities from enforcing their own mask edicts. Iowa was one of only a few states that never imposed a full stay-at-home order, and it let restaurants, bars and hair salons reopen earlier than most places. Still, the hospitality and retail sectors are struggling because consumers have not fully returned.

Pressed in September if she would consider a mask mandate as cases began to rise again, Ms. Reynolds said, “Nope, not going to happen.” She said she trusted Iowans, armed with data about the virus, to make their own decisions.

...A survey by the Des Moines Register and Mediacom in September showed a plurality of Iowans, 47 percent, disapproved of Ms. Reynolds’s handling of the pandemic, 15 percentage points worse than the number who disapproved in June. For the first time since Ms. Reynolds, 61, became governor in 2017, more Iowans said the state was on the wrong track than headed in the right direction, according to the poll.
Daniel Deitrich is currently on tour with Vote Common Good. He isn't from Iowa; he's from South Bend, Indiana and grew up in an evangelical community and served a local evangelical church there... until they took exception to his spiritual-political outspokenness-- epitomized by this epic song, "Hymn For the 81%," a reference to the 81% of evangelicals who voted for Trump in 2016.

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At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah such a marvelous opportunity! One that the corporatist "Democrats" will completely mismanage and turn into yet another Republican rampage in a couple of years.

I'd almost rather pass and just leave things they way they are than to be enticed to raise my hopes - again.

Just remember who was the frontman in making sure that change DIDN'T happen, both politically against Bernie Sanders and socio-politically in "convincing" professional athletes to end their protests. We will regret giving away those opportunities all too soon.

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL song. Thank you for sharing your soul. I pray that your words fall on fertile soil & take root. Blessed be. 🖖🏻

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also remember Bernie being ratfucked in Iowa a few months ago.

Like FL, it's so goddamn fucked up, it's hard to care.

and we should all know it'll be a crimson strobe light in 2022.


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