The electoral college superstate of “Minnewisowa” (first named
by me in 2004) is suddenly in play in the 2016 presidential contest.
This superstate, composed of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa,
has a tradition of voting as a bloc, consists of 26 electoral votes,
and shares (in addition to adjoining location) many demographic
In 2008 and 2012, Minnewisowa voted all its electoral votes for
Barack Obama, supported by strong popular vote margins for the
Initially, it appeared that would be repeated in 2016, but recent
indications are that Iowa is leaning to Republican nominee
Donald Trump, Wisconsin has become very competitive, and only
Minnesota seems now secure for Democratic nominee Hillary
In spite of the controversies surrounding Mr. Trump, his success
in Iowa can be attributed to the united effort by the Iowa GOP
around his candidacy, Long-time and popular Governor Terry
Branstad, and both GOP U.S. senators, Chuck Grassley (running
for re-election) and Joni Ernst are strongly supporting the top of
the GOP ticket, something which has not yet happened in some
other battleground states across the country.
In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker (previously a competitor to
Mr. Trump in the presidential nominating contest) and Speaker of
the House Paul Ryan (and Wisconsin congressman) have endorsed
the GOP ticket much more cautiously, but are working very hard
to re-elect Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and several other GOP
congressional incumbents in 2016. The governor’s political
organization and the speaker’s popularity, combined with Mr.
Trump’s frequent campaign stops in the state, are making the
Badger State probably more competitive than it has been in many
presidential campaign cycles.
Only in Minnesota, which has no statewide Republican
officeholders, and a weak GOP state party organization, does
Mr. Trump trail Mrs. Clinton significantly. Nonetheless, the
Republican ticket appears strong in outstate Minnesota,
particularly in congressional districts 6, 7 and 8. In MN-8,
a blue collar area in northeastern Minnesota, Mrs. Clinton,
according to private polls, is reportedly trailing Mr. Trump
and endangering the re-election of the incumbent DFL
(Democratic) congressman (who had previously endorsed
Bernie Sanders in the state caucus). In In MN-7, the incumbent
DFL congressman is so conservative that Trump’s popularity
there does not endanger his re-election.
Since both Iowa and Wisconsin both voted Democratic in 2008
and 2012, a Trump victory in one or both of them would notably
enhance his path to victory in November, especially if they
were added to victories in Michigan, Ohio and/or Pennsylvania
where Mr. Trump’s campaign currently appears to be unusually
strong (and where Mr. Obama won all their electoral votes in
2008 and 2012).
With 60 days to go until election day, however, Mrs. Clinton
still leads in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, as well as
in several other national battleground states. The race remains
hers, unless as happened in 2008, she throws it away.
Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.