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Old 08-09-2014, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,458 posts, read 7,523,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
While partisan alignment has of course changed over this period, it is true that in general the "Midland" has generally always been more of a swing region, where Yankeedom and the South have aligned along separate poles.
Very astute point. I'd hypothesize this is because the "Midland" region of the US historically had ethnic backgrounds in which voting patterns were more contested (e.g., Germans, Scots-Irish and Italians, etc.), as opposed to the more politically-uniform, ethnic-based voting patterns of New England and the Upper Midwest (e.g, Scandinavians and Irish).
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,398,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
Why does it matter if the Twin Cities is in the Driftless or not for it to be included in this conversation? Des Moines is obviously not in the Driftless and it's part of the region highlighted by OP. The Driftless is just part of the Upper Midwest; so are the Northwoods and the Iron Range and the North Shore and the UP and the northeast Great Plains and so on.

I mean I'm sorry it doesn't seem that way to you, but... you're kind of arguing against a geological fact here. Nowhere in the Twin Cities region is a grand as La Crosse or Dubuque, but the boundaries of the Driftless extend to Fort Snelling... the end. I don't know what to tell you. Most of TC is as close to more dramatic bluff country as Denver is to the Rockies. The Wisconsin city you should be comparing it to is Madison, not Milwaukee.
What are you talking about?

I was saying that the Twin Cities don't have an especially great influence on the Driftless, and that Minneapolis isn't that much closer to the area than Milwaukee, which is true. Madison is right on the edge of it, as is Rochester, and as such both have greater influence (even though they are smaller cities) on the culture of the Driftless than Minneapolis, which if anything looks to the north (as does Milwaukee/Chicago). La Crosse and Dubuque are the largest cities actually within the region. Pretty simple to understand!
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Yes I know that's what you're saying, and I'm saying you're wrong, 100%. I've lived in the Driftless, I know it back to front. Rochester and La Crosse don't mean anything. Neither does Dubuque. They're all fine cities, but they have no real influence beyond the basic amenities the small towns can't offer. The Twin Cities and Madison (and to a lesser extent Chicago) are the ONLY cities with significant cultural pull in the region. Sure you might go to Rochester if you need the mall or the hospital, but the cultural climate comes straight from Minneapolis and Madison. The Twin Cities are literally IN the Driftless - that's geological fact that you simply cannot dispute.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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The Driftless goes through St Paul. These bluffs aren't as big as the ones downstream but they are part of the same geological region (photo mine):

stpfeb201401 by afsmps, on Flickr
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
Yes I know that's what you're saying, and I'm saying you're wrong, 100%. I've lived in the Driftless, I know it back to front. Rochester and La Crosse don't mean anything. Neither does Dubuque. They're all fine cities, but they have no real influence beyond the basic amenities the small towns can't offer. The Twin Cities and Madison (and to a lesser extent Chicago) are the ONLY cities with significant cultural pull in the region. Sure you might go to Rochester if you need the mall or the hospital, but the cultural climate comes straight from Minneapolis and Madison. The Twin Cities are literally IN the Driftless - that's geological fact that you simply cannot dispute.
Those are river bluffs above - check out any pictures of the Mississippi south of the Driftless for even bigger ones. There are river bluffs throughout every flat state/area (IL by Peoria, for one of many examples).

Show me a map that includes the Twin Cities in the Driftless; show me a true geological report that does so. Otherwise, you're wrong, straight-up.

Conversely, the first 10 maps I just looked up had the Driftless outside the city of St. Paul. Every single one.
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:27 AM
 
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The purplish counties of central/eastern NY are not always closer to the core metro areas than much of the Upper Mississippi Valley. The Quad Cities is about the same travel time to Chicago as Albany is to NYC. St. Lawrence County or Chautauqua County NY would be three hours further yet - a six hour drive to NYC.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Those are river bluffs above - check out any pictures of the Mississippi south of the Driftless for even bigger ones. There are river bluffs throughout every flat state/area (IL by Peoria, for one of many examples).

Show me a map that includes the Twin Cities in the Driftless; show me a true geological report that does so. Otherwise, you're wrong, straight-up.

Conversely, the first 10 maps I just looked up had the Driftless outside the city of St. Paul. Every single one.
From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Corresponding to the southeast geological region of Minnesota, it begins at about Fort Snelling on the southeast corner of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area. Starting as a narrow sliver against the Mississippi, it widens to the west as one goes south. The western boundary is the Bemis-Altamont moraine.[SIZE=2][27][/SIZE][SIZE=2][28][/SIZE] Another more easily located reference to the western boundary is the approximate line of Minnesota State Highway 56.
Those statements are sourced from the Minnesota DNR.

Driftless Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:23 PM
 
1,000 posts, read 1,503,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Those are river bluffs above - check out any pictures of the Mississippi south of the Driftless for even bigger ones. There are river bluffs throughout every flat state/area (IL by Peoria, for one of many examples).

Show me a map that includes the Twin Cities in the Driftless; show me a true geological report that does so. Otherwise, you're wrong, straight-up.

Conversely, the first 10 maps I just looked up had the Driftless outside the city of St. Paul. Every single one.
Regardless of whether you think the Driftless Area extends into St. Paul proper or not, there is no denying that it extends into the Twin cities metro, given that Pierce County is almost completely composed of driftless topograpy and St. Croix, Dakota, and Washington Counties each have a portion inside or lying on the edge of the driftless zone. The same cannot be said for Milwaukee. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul lie essentially on the exact edge of the driftless zone. The only thing in between St. Paul and your definition of the driftless zone is Washington County, which is only about 12 miles across (about a 10-15 minute drive). It is at least and hour and a half from Milwaukee to the edge of the driftless.

The is the Driftless Area Restoration Effort's website, with several detail maps of the driftless area's boundaries. Driftless Area Restoration Effort

This map even has the driftless area extending through Washington County all the way to St. Paul itslef: http://www.darestoration.com/
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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Default Eastern Iowa is actually pretty urban

The areas you reference is actually quite urban in fact, with large medium sized cities predominating. Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities, Dubuque. I live in Minnesota, the areas I grew up in western and northern Minnesota are actually very rural (largest towns 10K and they are far apart. Those areas have always been quite blue. Minnesota though is very Scandinavian/German influenced. It has social democratic traditions which most interpret as liberal (it's not).

Interesting conversation. I went to school in Mt. Vernon, IA, btw. I love that area of the country.



Quote:
Originally Posted by burrrrr View Post

I was looking at this old map I have of the Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota Quad-State area highlighted for it's unique political leanings in the past 30 or so years. This map, although it does not say it, is the Obama-Romney 2012 map.

It's funny because I've lived in Lee, Black Hawk, Polk, Johnson, Linn Counties in Iowa, as well as DuPage in Illinois. Every single one of these counties is within this blue area - so I'm curious - are there other areas in the country that you guys are familiar with that have more of a democratic, liberal leaning, while still being in a rural setting?

Yes there are urban areas within this region, but none of them are actually very large when compared with the rest of the country. For those of you not familiar, this is the Rockford, Moline, Rock Island, Davenport, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Des Moines, Rochester, LaCrosse, Madison area. However all of the rural counties are blue too which is the true distinctive.

When I actually think about our area - you do come across a lot of the eclectic naturalist types even in the outlying areas. I once had a teacher in high school that referred to herself as a liberal farmer. Don't get me wrong, people here definitely have values, and religion is nowhere near dead. But I've seen a lot of people say that our area is a "live and let live" type of place. A much different type of democrat than many may be used to on the West Coast, etc? Any experiences?

It would appear that areas of the "rural" far Northeast may be similar as far as political trends paired with low urbanity.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:05 PM
 
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I don't think it matters too much, but the driftless area starts at Red Wing Minnesota and points south. St. Paul can look like that because the river cuts through bluffs. Get any distance from the river, however, and that's gone. Within the driftless area, it doesn't matter if you are near or far from a river, it has bluffs. St. Paul and Minneapolis are actually on the south end of the Canadian Shield geologically.

The reasons for Minnesota being quite blue are different from iowa and illinois. Minnesota has social-democratic traditions related to populism and the large scandinavian/german influence.
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