According to a report from the Associated Press, Donald Trump may be in danger of losing Iowa’s six electoral votes in the 2020 election as voters tire of his antics and demographic changes come into play.
In 2016 Trump easily defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Iowa, wrapping up 93 of Iowa’s 99 counties, but times have changed.
“But now, as Democrats turn their focus to Iowa’s kickoff caucuses that begin the process of selecting Trump’s challenger, could the state be showing furtive signs of swinging back? Caucus turnout will provide some early measures of Democratic enthusiasm, and of what kind of candidate Iowa’s Democratic voters — who have a good record of picking the Democratic nominee — believe has the best chance against Trump,” AP reports, adding, “If Iowa’s rightward swing has stalled, it could be a foreboding sign for Trump in other upper Midwestern states he carried by much smaller margins and would need to win again.”
According to former Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsak, “They’ve gone too far to the right and there is the slow movement back. This is an actual correction.”
As evidence, AP points to the 2018 election where, “Iowans unseated two Republican U.S. House members — and nearly a third — in 2018 during midterm elections where more Iowa voters in the aggregate chose a Democrat for federal office for the first time in a decade. Democrats won 14 of the 31 Iowa counties that Trump won in 2016 but Obama won in 2008, though Trump’s return to the ballot in 2020 could change all that.”
“We won a number of legislative challenge races against incumbent Republicans,” explained Iowa Democratic campaign consultant Jeff Link.
AP reports, “Iowa’s metropolitan areas, some of the fastest growing in the country over the past two decades, have given birth to a new political front where Democrats saw gains in 2018. The once-GOP-leaning suburbs and exurbs, especially to the north and west of Des Moines and the corridor linking Cedar Rapids and the University of Iowa in Iowa City, swelled with college-educated adults in the past decade, giving rise to a new class of rising Democratic leaders.”
Iowa GOP campaign operative John Stineman agreed the state is in play.
“I think it would be folly to say Iowa is not a competitive state,” he confessed. “I believe Iowa is a swing state in 2020.”
“The answer for Democrats in Iowa is much the same as the rest of the country: growing, vote-rich suburbs,” AP reports. “Dallas County, west of Des Moines, has grown by 121% since 2000, converting from a checkerboard of farms into miles of car dealerships, strip malls, megachurches and waves of similarly styled housing developments. It had been a Republican county. However, last year, long-held Republican Iowa House districts in Des Moines’ western suburbs fell to Democrats. It was the culmination of two decades of shifting educational attainment with political implications.”
According to Ann Selzer, who has conducted The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll for more than 25 years, “It doesn’t take much to create a Democratic victory in these upper Midwestern states. “I think the success in the midterms kind of made people on the Democratic side believe that ‘we can do it.’”
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