Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Iowa and New Hampshire have a lot in common: They get to vote first in the presidential nominating process, both are racially homogenous and both can be quite nippy in January.
The similarities that interest me most, though, are political.
Both are swing states. Iowa went for Gore in 2000 and Bush in 2004, one of only two states to switch in that direction (the other was New Mexico). New Hampshire was the only state to switch from Bush in 2000 to Kerry in 2004.
But neither acted like a swing state in 2006. In Iowa, Democrats retained the governorship and took control of the legislature, winning themselves complete control of state government for the first time since 1964.
In New Hampshire, Democrats retained the governorship and won both houses of the legislature for the first time since the 19th century. The party picked up 89 seats in the state House of Representatives alone.
Thus, it's pretty easy to make the case that Iowa and New Hampshire were the two states where Democratic victories were most dramatic in 2006. The question is whether those gains are sustainable.
In that context, you can understand why political analysts are keenly interested in the respective Democratic and Republican turnouts in Iowa and New Hampshire and whether independents show a clear preference for one party or the other.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.