In 2016, the final poll from the Des Moines Register, on November 5, 2016, had Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton 46-39%. On September 12, Trump’s lead was only 1% — 40-39%. On October 5, Trump’s lead in Iowa was up to 4% — 43-39%.
Hillary Clinton just could never break that 40% barrier, and on election day the final outcome in Iowa was 51-42%, with Trump winning by nearly 150,000 votes. He also won in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana Ohio, and Pennsylvania — the entire upper Midwest industrial region, with the exception of Illinois.
This past September 24, the Des Moines Register poll had the candidates even at 47-47. What was noteworthy in the September poll was that Trump led by 21% with men, and Biden led by 20% with women.
Yesterday the Register released its final poll for Iowa — Trump now has a 7% advantage, 48-41%. Noteworthy is that while Trump’s share did not substantially increase, Biden’s share dropped by 6%.
Among independents, Trump leads Biden 49-35% — a crushing differential of 14%. In September the numbers were almost exactly reversed, with Biden leading Trump among Independents 50-38. Independents favored Trump by 13% in 2016 and were largely responsible for his victory over Clinton.
Also noteworthy in the poll is that Trump has made up ground with women voters – likely GOP women voters who have “come home” to the GOP. Trump now trails by only 9% — compared to 20% in September.
At the same time Biden’s position with men got worse, with his support falling another 4% — down to only 32% support among male voters.
Iowa is a Midwest farm state much like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. What it lacks is a major metropolitan city like Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, or Detroit. Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa, and it accounted for less than 230,000 votes out of 1.56 million cast in 2016. If a Democrat can’t win rural voters in Iowa, a Democrat can’t win.
But Democrats have won rural votes in Iowa in the past. Iowa famously had both a GOP Senator and a Democrat Senator for 30 years. Tom Harkin represented Iowa in the Senate from 1985 to 2015, and Chuck Grassley has represented Iowa in the Senate since 1981.
Iowa has had 3 GOP governors and 2 Democrat governors over the past 36 years. It currently has 3 Democrat Congress members and only 1 GOP Congress member.
So when the Democrat Candidate for President sinks to 41% in the polls and is behind by double-digits with independents — repeating the scenario that led to 2016 — there are reasons other than the personal qualities of the candidate him/herself.
The Democrat Party has abandoned the interests of farm states like Iowa — and nowhere is that more true than with the elevation of the Green New Deal.
Ethanol — made from corn grown in Iowa — is blended with gasoline, not solar energy or wind power.
When you want to “transition away from oil” and outlaw the internal combustion engine, you are proposing to destroy the economy of a farm state like Iowa.
And the same issues extend to the non-urban parts of the remainder of the Upper Midwest states in the heartland.
The problem for today’s Democrat Party that is captive to the coastal interests of both the East and West coasts is that the Midwest states listen to what they say, and believes they’ll do what they are promising those coastal constituencies that they’ll do.
I don’t think Democrats will do what they promise because I think astute Democrat politicians realize most of their agenda is economic and political suicide. I have always believed their interest is simply in obtaining control of the levers of government — not to actually do what they talk about.
But Midwest voters aren’t taking chances.
They are going to vote for Donald Trump in even larger numbers than they did in 2016.