In 2004, I invented the word “Minnewisowa” to define the political entity that makes up the northern midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa — three contiguous states with similar demographics and geopolitical DNA. Together they have more electoral votes than most large states. There is no presidential election in 2010, of course, but by expanding Minnewisowa to more contiguous states, we have the heart of what might be an historic transformative midterm election.
I call it “Greater Minnewisowa.” There is no need to add more syllables to my little neologism. I add the midwestern states of Illinois, North and South Dakota, Michigan and Missouri to comprise Greater Minnewisowa. In the total of eight states (which have almost 100 electoral votes), we have the potential of dramatic shifts in the U.S. senate and house, state legislatures and governorships. To wit, the GOP could pick up a net gain of up to four senate seats, 5-10 house seats, and five governorships in these eight states alone. (I’m not predicting they will do so, but there is a very reasonable possibility they can do so.)
Looking ahead to 2012, President Obama won most of the states of Greater Minnewisowa in 2008. He almost certainly cannot be re-elected if he loses most of them two years from now.
(If I may be allowed a shameless plug for Minneapolis being the site of the Democratic national convention in 2012, let me do so here. This is a region the Democrats cannot take for granted, as will become more evident after the results in 2010 are counted. The GOP convention in St. Paul in 2008 did not change the results toward the Republicans in this region that year, but it was a year when virtually nothing the GOP and its candidates could do after the bank/mortgage meltdown would have given them victory. Unlike the river that goes through Cleveland, incidentally, the Mississippi is not going catch on fire……)