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View Poll Results: Which Midwestern states feels the most Western?
Minnesota 1 2.08%
North Dakota 2 4.17%
South Dakota 34 70.83%
Nebraska 8 16.67%
Kansas 3 6.25%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-19-2015, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
From what I remember, Minnesota appeared more open in landscape, more "big sky" than further east. Wisconsin had rolling hills and some woods [yes I know Illinois is almost all flat farmland outside urban areas], Western Minnesota appeared drier.
I bet you drove I-90 through extreme southern Minnesota? A lot of people make that trip and assume the entire state looks like that. Coming from the Twin Cities, that area of the state looks like an extension of Iowa. the eastern regions of Minnesota (where 90% of the population lives) are forested or wooded with broken farmland like Wisconsin.

One thing your precipitation map doesn't take into account is winter which brings mostly dry air to Minnesota, but also sub-freezing temperatures. That map makes it seem as if the northwestern tip of Minnesota has the same semi-aridity as you might find in western South Dakota, but it actually sustains tree growth naturally (assuming the soil isn't being farmed) because for most of the winter, the ground is frozen. During the rest of the year, rain is plentiful.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
One other point, not really relevant to answering the poll question. Where Minnesota is religious, it's partially evangelical in a way that's not found in the Northeast. The most observant Christians in much of the Northeast are Roman Catholic, not evangelical protestant [it's either mainline or roman Catholic here]. You could get moderate conservatives in say both upstate and downstate NY, but they'd never be something like Michelle Bachmann. I suspect Detroit or Cleveland couldn't elect someone like her either.

Oddly, while Oregon is less observant overall, those that do observe are more likely to be evangelical. Oregon has far fewer Catholics and probably mainline protestants:

State by State Percentage of Evangelicals, Catholics, and Black Protestants - Beliefnet.com

Note New York State has more black protestant than white evangelicals. I remember seeing religious billboards in Minnesota and plenty in the Dakotas (and anti-abortion billboard), the only one I've seen in New England was by an evangelical protestant church frequented by hispanics.
Your link only shows evangelical protestants, Catholics, and Black Protestants. While Mpls has a lot of the first two, it only has 2% of the third group. A group conspicuous by its absence from this survey is "mainline protestants". According to something I saw on the web yesterday (and will clearly never be able to find again; I tried via my history) Mpls has a higher % of MPs than many other areas. Certainly, you see a Lutheran church, school, etc every few blocks in St. Paul. See this for Minneapolis: http://www.city-data.com/city/Minnea...Minnesota.html 23.7% of adherents are ELCA Lutherans. Here's St. Paul, 50% of adherents are Catholic, 19.9% ELCA Lutheran. http://www.city-data.com/city/St.-Paul-Minnesota.html

Then there's Portland: http://www.city-data.com/city/Portland-Oregon.html
Of adherents: Catholic-50%; Other-44%; Jewish 6%

Very different

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 05-19-2015 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
I bet you drove I-90 through extreme southern Minnesota? A lot of people make that trip and assume the entire state looks like that. Coming from the Twin Cities, that area of the state looks like an extension of Iowa. the eastern regions of Minnesota (where 90% of the population lives) are forested or wooded with broken farmland like Wisconsin.

One thing your precipitation map doesn't take into account is winter which brings mostly dry air to Minnesota, but also sub-freezing temperatures. That map makes it seem as if the northwestern tip of Minnesota has the same semi-aridity as you might find in western South Dakota, but it actually sustains tree growth naturally (assuming the soil isn't being farmed) because for most of the winter, the ground is frozen. During the rest of the year, rain is plentiful.
That's a good point. This is also part of why eastern Montana is a lot less arid than Wyoming and Colorado. Parts of eastern Montana are semi-arid in character, but not all of it and much of Wyoming and Colorado are true desert.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:26 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
I bet you drove I-90 through extreme southern Minnesota? A lot of people make that trip and assume the entire state looks like that. Coming from the Twin Cities, that area of the state looks like an extension of Iowa. the eastern regions of Minnesota (where 90% of the population lives) are forested or wooded with broken farmland like Wisconsin.
Correct. No, I realized the entire state doesn't look like that, though I assume most of the southern third does.

Quote:
One thing your precipitation map doesn't take into account is winter which brings mostly dry air to Minnesota, but also sub-freezing temperatures. That map makes it seem as if the northwestern tip of Minnesota has the same semi-aridity as you might find in western South Dakota, but it actually sustains tree growth naturally (assuming the soil isn't being farmed) because for most of the winter, the ground is frozen. During the rest of the year, rain is plentiful.
Western South Dakota doesn't have frozen ground in the winter? The dryness of Minnesotan winters is very different from what I'm used to. But yes, colder climates need less rain to support lush vegetation than hotter ones.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
One other point, not really relevant to answering the poll question. Where Minnesota is religious, it's partially evangelical in a way that's not found in the Northeast.
There really aren't many evangelicals in Minnesota at all. I think someone pointed out already that the "evangelicals" being referred to are ELCA Lutherans (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), which is a bit of a misleading name. I grew up in the Lutheran church, and it's essentially Catholicism-lite. There was never any fire-and-brimstone "gay people go to hell" garbage in my church, nor was there any of that creepy hands-in-the-air praising the lord nonsense. The Lutheran church is stoic and egalitarian like the Scandinavian heritage it comes from. Dare I say that the majority of Lutherans are actually liberals unlike Michele Bachmann, who's a bat**** insane Evangelical (and, thankfully, now an ex-Congresswoman).


Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Western South Dakota doesn't have frozen ground in the winter? The dryness of Minnesotan winters is very different from what I'm used to. But yes, colder climates need less rain to support lush vegetation than hotter ones.
Western SD gets chinook winds in the winter which can keep the ground thawed. Even though they generally have warmer temps in the winter, a lot of tree species that will grow in Minnesota simply won't survive out there not only due to the aridity, but also due to the freeze-thaw cycle in the winter which kills trees.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:06 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
Western SD gets chinook winds in the winter which can keep the ground thawed. Even though they generally have warmer temps in the winter, a lot of tree species that will grow in Minnesota simply won't survive out there not only due to the aridity, but also due to the freeze-thaw cycle in the winter which kills trees.
A bit of an aside, but just going temperature, Rapid City South Dakota is surprisingly close to my current town.

RAPID CITY WSO, SOUTH DAKOTA - Climate Summary

AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS - Climate Summary

[click on Monthly Tabular Data under 1981-2010 for a fairer comparison] Rapid City is much more variable, particularly in the daytime. Snowfall amounts are similar, but distributed differently.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:30 PM
 
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All of those states are pretty large. They're not homogeneous. Some places in South Dakota feel like Wyoming which is about as western as it gets while others are much more like Minnesota which is about as midwestern as it gets.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mandalorian View Post
All of those states are pretty large. They're not homogeneous. Some places in South Dakota feel like Wyoming which is about as western as it gets while others are much more like Minnesota which is about as midwestern as it gets.
Yes. We are large states. We are diverse states too. This terrain actually covers a wide area. For instance in central Nebraska, the sandhills cover a quarter of the state's landscape alone.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
There really aren't many evangelicals in Minnesota at all. I think someone pointed out already that the "evangelicals" being referred to are ELCA Lutherans (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), which is a bit of a misleading name. I grew up in the Lutheran church, and it's essentially Catholicism-lite. There was never any fire-and-brimstone "gay people go to hell" garbage in my church, nor was there any of that creepy hands-in-the-air praising the lord nonsense. The Lutheran church is stoic and egalitarian like the Scandinavian heritage it comes from. Dare I say that the majority of Lutherans are actually liberals unlike Michele Bachmann, who's a bat**** insane Evangelical (and, thankfully, now an ex-Congresswoman).




Western SD gets chinook winds in the winter which can keep the ground thawed. Even though they generally have warmer temps in the winter, a lot of tree species that will grow in Minnesota simply won't survive out there not only due to the aridity, but also due to the freeze-thaw cycle in the winter which kills trees.
Yes, I can see how depending on how the question was asked, some Lutherans would say they attend an "evangelical" church when they are members of the ELCA!
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Yes, I can see how depending on how the question was asked, some Lutherans would say they attend an "evangelical" church when they are members of the ELCA!
Yep, it used to be that "evangelical" was more or less just another term for "protestant". Now it's more synonymous with cult televangelists, the Duggars, and megachurches where they attempt to cure your cancer by grabbing your head and shaking it violently.
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