See 2012 Battleground States for brief analyses of a dozen key states in the 2012 elections, and predictions as to who could win those states.
How Iowa Votes: Red State or Blue State?
Despite a substantial population of conservative evangelical Christian voters, Iowans have voted for the Democratic candidate in five of the last six presidential elections, including twice for Bill Clinton (1992, 1996), for Al Gore (2000), and for Barack Obama (2008).
In 2008, Democrat Obama won the allegiances of two particular age-groups of Iowans: voters under 30 years old (61%), and remarkably. middle-aged voters from age 45 to 64 (54%). Together, the two groups represented 55% of Iowa's electorate in 2008.
In the last four presidential elections, Iowa voted as follows:
- 2008 - 54% for Democrat Obama, 44% for Republican McCain
- 2004 - 50% for Republican Bush, 49% for Democrat Kerry
- 2000 - 49% for Democrat Gore, 48% for Republican Bush
- 1996 - 50% for Democrat Clinton, 40% for Republican Dole, 10% for Other
Iowa's 5-member delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives consists of three Democrats, two Republicans.
Summary of Top Issues in Iowa
The stability of Social Security and Medicare programs are important issues in Iowa because voters over 65 years old represent 14.9% of all Iowa residents, the nation's 5th highest state percentage, trailing only Florida, West Virginia, Maine and Pennsylvania.
Farm issues, particularly continuation of federal subsidies of certain crops grown by Iowa farmers, are major concerns for Iowa voters.
Renewable energy sources are also a hot political issue in Iowa . "Iowa is now a net-exporter of energy. Between biofuels, ethanol and wind energy, 20% of Iowa’s energy now comes from renewable sources," Per the Iowa Democratic Party. In the Hawkeye State, ethanol is manufactured using Iowa-grown corn crops.
An Iowa progressive website reports about state politics:
"When it comes to progressive political action, Iowa is anything but the sleepy state that popular stereotypes perpetuate. Iowa is hot liberal territory, with more good progressive organizations per capita than any other state I can think of."Iowa Economic Facts and Voter Demographics
Unemployment Rate as of June 2011 - Iowa is experiencing an unemployment rates of about 6.0%, which ranks 41st among all states, one of the nation's lowest.
Foreclosure Rates as of June 2011 - 1 in 1032 Iowa homes were in foreclosure, a rate well below the state average of 1 of 583 homes and ranking 26th among all states.
State Residents Living Below Poverty-Level Income - 11.5% of Iowa households live below the poverty line, a rate that ranks 31st among all states.
Labor Union Membership - 187,000 of Ohioans, 13.0% of all Ohio workers, belong to labor unions, one of the higher state percentages of union membership.
Senior Citizen Population - Iowa has one of the nation's highest populations of senior citizen residents, 14.9%. Iowa ranks 5th among all states in percentage of residents over 65 years old, behind only Florida, West Virginia, Maine and Pennsylvania.
Women as a Percentage of Iowa's Population - Women comprise 50.5% of Iowa's population, which ranks 30th among all states.
African-American Population - Only 3% of Iowa residents are of African-American heritage, ranking 37th among all states.
Hispanic Population - Merely 5.0% of Iowans are of Hispanic heritage, ranking 34th among states.