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Old 05-06-2015, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
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As a whole, Iowa is a moderate state politically. The closest state I can think of that matches it politically would be Ohio. They don't always vote for the same candidate, but they're both solidly purple (perhaps ever-so-slightly closer to blue) states. Chunks of Wisconsin and downstate Illinois are like that as well.

You won't find a lot of the Upper Midwestern (Fargoh) accents in Iowa. The northern 1/5th of the state might have a mix of Upper Midwestern and General American, but it's definitely more diluted than what you'd find in Minnesota.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:28 AM
 
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That's kinda what I thought, yeah. Iowa and some chunks of Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska are mainly General American. If you look at some of the people from these areas like Ronald Reagan, Walter Cronkite, and John Wayne then it makes sense.

Last edited by JayJayCB; 05-06-2015 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Calera, AL
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Originally Posted by Qwerty View Post
If you are talking geography, probably Missouri. The people, probably Wisconsin. The economy, South Dakota.
You really can't classify Iowa as resembling another state (at least one state in particular) geographically. Contrary to what a lot of folks might say (especially those who have never been, or at least spent significant time in IA) it's geographically diverse, flatter and wetter in the southeast, drier and hillier in the west, and rather rugged in the northeast (IMHO it's the most picturesque part in the state, though you will find lots of Loess Hill fans too).

"Classic" Iowa (central and much of eastern IA, characterized by fairly low elevation, little variation in topography, lots of corn and soybean fields) is probably much like downstate Illinois, but I've only been to (and mostly through) IL a handful of times, and I have little doubt that there's some variation there too. Western Iowa is like eastern Nebraska, it's a little drier than most of the rest of the state and the elevation is a tad bit higher, but not appreciably more "rugged" (though you do have the aforementioned Loess Hills overlooking the Missouri River). Some parts of Iowa (mostly southern/southeastern IA) do resemble portions of Missouri, but I don't think the two states necessarily resemble each other as a whole. Southern Missouri is a whole different animal and pretty much unlike anything else in the Midwest (you can even argue that the southern 1/3rd of MO is actually Southern, geographically and culturally)

People, I guess I can give you that one. Iowans, much like their state, are sort their own breed. When it comes to state pride, they're right up there with Texas (even those who leave their state are very proud of their home more often than not). But they do share many values with Minnesotans, Wisconsinites, Nebraskans, etc. For instance, though it's a different era, they still might be prone to say that a hard day's work involves good old fashioned physical labor from sun-up to sun-down, often outside in the elements. They may have some of that old-school mentality in some ways, but for the most part it suits them alright.

I don't know what you can compare Iowa's economy to, but I will say this. Every state surrounding Iowa has raised its minimum wage somewhere above the federal minimum, but the bill that would have raise Iowa's minimum wage (eventually) to $8.75 was killed in the House last month. Doesn't look good when states generally seen as less-progressive than Iowa such as Nebraska and South Dakota already approved a hike.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:45 PM
 
3,613 posts, read 3,328,579 times
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Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
You really can't classify Iowa as resembling another state (at least one state in particular) geographically. Contrary to what a lot of folks might say (especially those who have never been, or at least spent significant time in IA) it's geographically diverse, flatter and wetter in the southeast, drier and hillier in the west, and rather rugged in the northeast (IMHO it's the most picturesque part in the state, though you will find lots of Loess Hill fans too).

"Classic" Iowa (central and much of eastern IA, characterized by fairly low elevation, little variation in topography, lots of corn and soybean fields) is probably much like downstate Illinois, but I've only been to (and mostly through) IL a handful of times, and I have little doubt that there's some variation there too. Western Iowa is like eastern Nebraska, it's a little drier than most of the rest of the state and the elevation is a tad bit higher, but not appreciably more "rugged" (though you do have the aforementioned Loess Hills overlooking the Missouri River). Some parts of Iowa (mostly southern/southeastern IA) do resemble portions of Missouri, but I don't think the two states necessarily resemble each other as a whole. Southern Missouri is a whole different animal and pretty much unlike anything else in the Midwest (you can even argue that the southern 1/3rd of MO is actually Southern, geographically and culturally)

People, I guess I can give you that one. Iowans, much like their state, are sort their own breed. When it comes to state pride, they're right up there with Texas (even those who leave their state are very proud of their home more often than not). But they do share many values with Minnesotans, Wisconsinites, Nebraskans, etc. For instance, though it's a different era, they still might be prone to say that a hard day's work involves good old fashioned physical labor from sun-up to sun-down, often outside in the elements. They may have some of that old-school mentality in some ways, but for the most part it suits them alright.

I don't know what you can compare Iowa's economy to, but I will say this. Every state surrounding Iowa has raised its minimum wage somewhere above the federal minimum, but the bill that would have raise Iowa's minimum wage (eventually) to $8.75 was killed in the House last month. Doesn't look good when states generally seen as less-progressive than Iowa such as Nebraska and South Dakota already approved a hike.
Geographically, Iowa and Missouri are very, very similar. Having spent the last several years driving from one end to the other of both states, they are near clones of each other.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:59 PM
 
Location: IN
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Originally Posted by Qwerty View Post
Geographically, Iowa and Missouri are very, very similar. Having spent the last several years driving from one end to the other of both states, they are near clones of each other.
Only the northern 1/4 or northern 1/3 of Missouri is very similar to Iowa in terms of agricultural crops planted. Missouri is far more wooded and hilly with agriculture generally limited to river valley areas the further south you go. Ranches and dairy farms are mixed in with woods in the southern regions of the state in the Ozarks with the total number of agricultural acres being far less. The Mississippi Delta area in the far southeast part of the state is the only other big agrarian region.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Only the northern 1/4 or northern 1/3 of Missouri is very similar to Iowa in terms of agricultural crops planted. Missouri is far more wooded and hilly with agriculture generally limited to river valley areas the further south you go. Ranches and dairy farms are mixed in with woods in the southern regions of the state in the Ozarks with the total number of agricultural acres being far less. The Mississippi Delta area in the far southeast part of the state is the only other big agrarian region.
Ranches and farming are not geography. The states are near clones of each other. Again, I drive through both states, end to end, top to bottom and yes, the Ozark region is a bit different, the rest of the state is very, very much like Iowa.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
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Having lived in both Michigan and Ohio, I would say the culture of Central Iowa is more similar to the culture of the Lansing-East Lansing area of Michigan. People are more reserved here than they are in Ohio (and I'm generalizing, of course). And there's a strong live-and-let-live attitude, more so in Central IA than in parts of Ohio, especially around the Amish and Mennonite communities. I can't speak to how it is around the Amish communities here, yet.

Yes, in terms of being a swing state, there are some similarities to Ohio. Politics is a contact sport there, too, with tons of robocalls tying up the phone lines. On the other hand, it seems like more of a game here, much less stressful than the do-or-die events in Columbus.

Best generalization I can make: if you're comfortable in the Midwest in general, you'll be fine in Iowa and vice-versa. I don't know about farther west because I haven't spent a lot of time there, yet.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Iowa
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I would have to agree with the poster that said Illinois minus Chicago, both states are 55K square miles in area, somewhat similar in topography, similar people, both more blue than red on the political map, with similar agriculture products ect ect.

However, since Missouri was mentioned, I have another state to throw in the mix. I think Iowa and Mississippi have some similarities, both states share a long border with the Mississippi river, both states have the same population in number, 3 million. Agriculture plays an important economic role in both states, and both are more rural than urban in nature. Both states have or have had issues with poverty and low wages in the past, with boom and bust cycles. Both states have been reluctant to elect women to higher office.

Des Moines proper without suburbs is similar in population size to Jackson, but not on economic par with each other (17 Burger King's for DSM metro area, only 12 for Jackson). However, we have the means within Iowa to build a city like Jackson, by combining Waterloo, Marshalltown, Ft Dodge, Counsil Bluffs and Ottumwa into a critical mass of Dixie living somewhat on par with Jackson. Both states lack pro sports teams and love college football. Both states have plenty of tornados, both states have occasional flooding problems and have similar influences from from the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in hot humid summers for both states.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mofford View Post
I would have to agree with the poster that said Illinois minus Chicago, both states are 55K square miles in area, somewhat similar in topography, similar people, both more blue than red on the political map, with similar agriculture products ect ect.

However, since Missouri was mentioned, I have another state to throw in the mix. I think Iowa and Mississippi have some similarities, both states share a long border with the Mississippi river, both states have the same population in number, 3 million. Agriculture plays an important economic role in both states, and both are more rural than urban in nature. Both states have or have had issues with poverty and low wages in the past, with boom and bust cycles. Both states have been reluctant to elect women to higher office.

Des Moines proper without suburbs is similar in population size to Jackson, but not on economic par with each other (17 Burger King's for DSM metro area, only 12 for Jackson). However, we have the means within Iowa to build a city like Jackson, by combining Waterloo, Marshalltown, Ft Dodge, Counsil Bluffs and Ottumwa into a critical mass of Dixie living somewhat on par with Jackson. Both states lack pro sports teams and love college football. Both states have plenty of tornados, both states have occasional flooding problems and have similar influences from from the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in hot humid summers for both states.
That's actually true, and they're both very flat. Only difference, Mississippi is heavily wooded outside the Delta while Iowa isn't very wooded at all. Politically, I guess Mississippi would be much more conservative, though.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:05 PM
 
Location: IN
21,662 posts, read 38,063,943 times
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Originally Posted by Qwerty View Post
Ranches and farming are not geography. The states are near clones of each other. Again, I drive through both states, end to end, top to bottom and yes, the Ozark region is a bit different, the rest of the state is very, very much like Iowa.
Ranches and farming are economic variables. Missouri simply does not have a large amount of acreage in corn and soybeans relative to Iowa. Missouri just has far more variability in terms of soils, topography, climate, etc. Rural Missouri in terms of economics, ancestry, religion, has a bit more in common with Kentucky than Iowa.
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