'Minnewisowa' is back in play

The electoral college superstate of "Minnewisowa" (first named by me in 2004) is suddenly in play in the 2016 presidential contest.

This superstate, composed of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, has a tradition of voting as a bloc, consists of 26 electoral votes, and shares (in addition to adjoining location) many demographic characteristics.

In 2008 and 2012, Minnewisowa voted all its electoral votes for Barack Obama, supported by strong popular vote margins for the Democratic ticket.

Initially, it appeared that would be repeated in 2016, but recent indications are that Iowa is leaning to Republican nominee Donald Trump, Wisconsin has become very competitive, and only Minnesota seems now secure for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

In spite of the controversies surrounding Mr. Trump, his success in Iowa can be attributed to the united effort by the Iowa GOP around his candidacy.  Longtime and popular governor Terry Branstad, and both GOP U.S. senators, Chuck Grassley (running for re-election) and Joni Ernst, are strongly supporting the top of the GOP ticket, something that has not yet happened in some other battleground states across the country.

In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker (previously a competitor to Mr. Trump in the presidential nominating contest) and speaker of the House Paul Ryan (and Wisconsin congressman) have endorsed the GOP ticket much more cautiously, but they are working very hard to re-elect Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson and several other GOP congressional incumbents in 2016.  The governor's political organization and the speaker's popularity, combined with Mr. Trump's frequent campaign stops in the state, are making the Badger State probably more competitive than it has been in many presidential campaign cycles.

Only in Minnesota, which has no statewide Republican officeholders, and a weak GOP state party organization, does Mr. Trump trail Mrs. Clinton significantly.  Nonetheless, the Republican ticket appears strong in outstate 
Minnesota, particularly in congressional districts 6, 7, and 8.  In MN-8, a blue-collar area in northeastern Minnesota, Mrs. Clinton, according to private polls, is reportedly trailing Mr. Trump and endangering the re-election of the incumbent DFL (Democratic) congressman (who had previously endorsed Bernie Sanders in the state caucus).  In MN-7, the incumbent DFL congressman is so conservative that Trump's popularity there does not endanger his re-election.

Since both Iowa and Wisconsin both voted Democratic in 2008 and 2012, a Trump victory in one or both of them would notably enhance his path to victory in November, especially if they were added to victories in Michigan, Ohio, and/or Pennsylvania where Mr. Trump's campaign currently appears to be unusually strong (and where Mr. Obama won all their electoral votes in 2008 and 2012).

With 60 days to go until election day, however, Mrs. Clinton still leads in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, as well as in several other national battleground states.  The race remains hers to win, unless, as happened in 2008, she throws it away.

The electoral college superstate of "Minnewisowa" (first named by me in 2004) is suddenly in play in the 2016 presidential contest.

This superstate, composed of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, has a tradition of voting as a bloc, consists of 26 electoral votes, and shares (in addition to adjoining location) many demographic characteristics.

In 2008 and 2012, Minnewisowa voted all its electoral votes for Barack Obama, supported by strong popular vote margins for the Democratic ticket.

Initially, it appeared that would be repeated in 2016, but recent indications are that Iowa is leaning to Republican nominee Donald Trump, Wisconsin has become very competitive, and only Minnesota seems now secure for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

In spite of the controversies surrounding Mr. Trump, his success in Iowa can be attributed to the united effort by the Iowa GOP around his candidacy.  Longtime and popular governor Terry Branstad, and both GOP U.S. senators, Chuck Grassley (running for re-election) and Joni Ernst, are strongly supporting the top of the GOP ticket, something that has not yet happened in some other battleground states across the country.

In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker (previously a competitor to Mr. Trump in the presidential nominating contest) and speaker of the House Paul Ryan (and Wisconsin congressman) have endorsed the GOP ticket much more cautiously, but they are working very hard to re-elect Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson and several other GOP congressional incumbents in 2016.  The governor's political organization and the speaker's popularity, combined with Mr. Trump's frequent campaign stops in the state, are making the Badger State probably more competitive than it has been in many presidential campaign cycles.

Only in Minnesota, which has no statewide Republican officeholders, and a weak GOP state party organization, does Mr. Trump trail Mrs. Clinton significantly.  Nonetheless, the Republican ticket appears strong in outstate 
Minnesota, particularly in congressional districts 6, 7, and 8.  In MN-8, a blue-collar area in northeastern Minnesota, Mrs. Clinton, according to private polls, is reportedly trailing Mr. Trump and endangering the re-election of the incumbent DFL (Democratic) congressman (who had previously endorsed Bernie Sanders in the state caucus).  In MN-7, the incumbent DFL congressman is so conservative that Trump's popularity there does not endanger his re-election.

Since both Iowa and Wisconsin both voted Democratic in 2008 and 2012, a Trump victory in one or both of them would notably enhance his path to victory in November, especially if they were added to victories in Michigan, Ohio, and/or Pennsylvania where Mr. Trump's campaign currently appears to be unusually strong (and where Mr. Obama won all their electoral votes in 2008 and 2012).

With 60 days to go until election day, however, Mrs. Clinton still leads in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, as well as in several other national battleground states.  The race remains hers to win, unless, as happened in 2008, she throws it away.