Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Question regarding Iowa

As the recounts in New Hampshire and Ohio begin, things are a mite slow. I was looking over some election returns. I have my (outdated 1996 edition) of the Barone book at home, so I can't find this information.

But I was looking at Iowa's county by county results. See that chart CNN made? See how there's only one really red, red county? That's Sioux County. While neighboring counties like Lyon saw Bush win by large margins -- in the 70% and up range -- Sioux County saw many, many more voters (with 14,167 for Bush, and only 2,247 for Kerry). That's a margin of 86% Bush, 14% Kerry. Which would be a huge margin even in a state like Mississippi.

Since we're getting not just a nationwide range of readers on this little site, but also people who are more versed in the personalities and character of individual counties, would someone explain to me why Sioux is, by 10%, such the county in Iowa that voted so overwhelmingly for Bush? I'm just curious. Iowa has lots of conservative counties, but no one county came as close as Sioux, with a 12,000 vote margin for Bush.

Research time!

Update: Here's an interesting piece from 2000, where "In Sioux County, an Election Night typing error narrowed Gore's lead over George W. Bush by 895 votes. County officials said a keypunch operator erroneously entered tallies of 1,049 votes each for Gore and Bush. County Auditor Dennis Langer said Gore should have had 154 votes." This Des Moines Register article describes Sioux County as a "Republican stronghold." There's also this quote: "The GOP had questioned results in Sioux County, where Republicans outnumber Democrats in voter registration 14,173 to 1,831. "Sioux County is probably one of the most Republican counties in the United States," said Mark Lundberg, the county's co-chairman of the Bush campaign." Thus, these Sioux results for Kerry-Bush probably make sense. Just weird to see one county so much more conservative than the others. I wonder what the demographic reason for that is. Mea culpa. (Though that's even if registrations went up in Sioux, as they did everywhere, that's a pretty great turn-out.)