Donald Trump won the state of Iowa in 2016 by nearly 10 points over his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, scoring the state’s six electoral votes. That’s not exactly surprising since Iowa has long been a reliably Republican state and is 90 percent white.
But with the 2020 election now less than a year away, Iowa looks shaky as Trump seeks a second term in office. And that could well be a harbinger of other bad news for the president in the Midwest, the Associated Press (AP) reports:
“They’ve gone too far to the right and there is the slow movement back,” Tom Vilsack, the only two-term Democratic governor in the past 50 years, said of Republicans. “This is an actual correction.”
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.
As the population of the Hawkeye State gravitates to the suburbs and more Iowans become college educated and younger, the state is primed for move back to the Democrats. And even Republicans in the state are admitting that 2020 will be difficult for them:
“I think it would be folly to say Iowa is not a competitive state,” said John Stineman, a veteran Iowa GOP campaign operative and political data analyst who is unaffiliated with the Trump campaign but has advised presidential and congressional campaigns over the past 25 years. “I believe Iowa is a swing state in 2020.”
Jenny O’Toole, a 48-year-old insurance industry employee, is one of those who is fed up with the GOP and ready to make a change come 2020:
“I was a Republican. Not any more. I’m socially liberal, but economically conservative. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Dallas County, which is west of Des Moines, is one of the suburban areas being targeted by Democrats:
(The county) 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.
Iowans with college degrees are also growing in number, and they tend to lean progressive:
Since 2000, the number of Iowans with at least a college degree in urban and suburban areas grew by twice the rate of rural areas, according to U.S. Census data and an Iowa State University study.
Last year, a third of urban and suburban Iowans had a college diploma, up from 25% at the dawn of the metropolitan boom in 2000. Rural Iowans had inched up to just 20% from 16% during that period.
If Trump were to lose Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all of which helped propel him to the presidency in 2016, there would be no path for him to win reelection. That’s why you can expect the president to focus on those states — along with Florida and Ohio — in the months ahead.
Featured Image Via the BBC