Santorum supporters really shouldn’t be too hopeful about their chances from here on because someone is going to notice a very important distinction between Santorum’s 25% and Romney’s 25%, namely that Romney beat Santorum in the most populous counties of Iowa. Even though Iowa has a small population, the latest census reveals that rural counties in Iowa are shrinking, while most of the State’s growth is in urban areas. This is similar to the country as a whole, where more than 80% of the country now lives in urban areas. A look at the Caucus results shows that Romney beat Santorum in all but one of Iowa’s most populated counties.
- Polk, 28% to 22% (Des Moines)
- Scott, 29% to 24% (Davenport)
- Black Hawk, 23% to 22% (Cedar Falls and Waterloo)
- Johnson, 34% to 16% (Iowa City)
- Woodbury, 28% to 33% (Sioux City)
- Dubuque, 31% to 26% (Dubuque)
Research has shown a difference in voter preference between rural and urban voters, and Iowa seems no different. But despite Iowa being a pretty homogenous state, where 90% of its residents are non-Hispanic white, Iowa does have a county where they are significant in numbers, Muscatine. Muscatine county has a city in it whose student population is majority Hispanic and its near Davenport and Linn counties. This is where Davenport and Cedar Rapids is located, and about as urban as it gets in Iowa. Romney beat Santorum 30% to 20% in Muscatine. If I were Wall Street, I know who I’d put my money on. Of course, this isn’t surprising. Romney has always been the strong horse, but now we have the some evidence to back it up.
addendum: This only pertains to the GOP side of the ledger. Thanks to a friend for helping me clarify that. I also updated some of my poor geography skills.