Here at Starting Line, I’ve written several posts looking at precinct-by-precinct results from both the 2016 election and the Iowa Caucus to give readers a sense of how and why Iowa’s voting trends are changing. No swing state shifted more than Iowa in the general election (from Obama +6 in 2012 to Trump +10 in 2016), but to really understand it all you need to look at individual precincts to see where the changes occurred.

Fortunately, a data lover by the name of Ryne Rohla compiled the voting data for every precinct in the United States and put it all in visual form with an interactive map. Even better, he crunched the numbers for 2008 and 2012 so you could see how each precinct changed over time.

Unfortunately, interest in the map was so high that it caused server problems for Decision Desk HQ, who was hosting it, and they had to take it down. But while it was online this weekend, I scoured the map of Iowa and made a video tour for our readers to take them through the state’s voting trends. I think it turned out pretty well, with this new map providing an excellent way to visually tell Iowa’s electoral story.

You can watch the video below – it turned out longer than I planned, so if you want to skip to particular parts, you can click on the links below for each section:

  1. Intro to the map and Trump’s big gains in Southeast Iowa/how Democrats lost the Iowa Senate
  2. How Democrats lost rural Northeast Iowa (10:52)
  3. Why Trump swept Sioux City and Council Bluffs, but did poorly in Omaha (15:24)
  4. Where Democrats have opportunities in Polk, Linn and Scott County (28:29)
  5. Comparing voting trends of Iowa’s public and private university students (40:49)
  6. How Hispanic towns/precincts underperformed (54:04)


When the map is back online, it should be at this link.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 4/2/17

4 thoughts on “Take Our Video Tour Of Iowa’s Changing Voting Trends By Precinct

  1. I tried to send you an article from Salon of a retired Law Professor from Wisconsin whose Gerrymandering case before the Supreme Court could save Democracy, you can find it on, use their search by punching in Gerrymandering, it gives us hope.

  2. Trying to get your attention: use their search, punch in gerrymandering, choose the article-Meet the man who may end gerrymandering-the Supreme Court case that could save Democracy.It may be of interest.

  3. Gerrymandering is a big issue, and ending it would be a real boon to the entire US, but it’s not going to address the shifting demographics in Iowa. It’s how to get them to swing back the other way (in most cases) that is the job of our people and parties, now. Before(!) 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *