First in a planned 99-part series by guest author DMNATIVE. -promoted by desmoinesdem
I am starting our tour with our smallest county in terms of population, Adams County. The 2010 census found 4,029 people living in the entire 426 square miles that are within Adams County. Adams county is located south and west of Des Moines. According to Google Maps, the county seat of Adams County, Corning, is 94.7 road miles from the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines. Adams county was founded in 1853 when it was split from Pottawattamie County, and was further reduced in size when Union and Montgomery County were established.
The highest population in the county was 13,601 in the 1900 census. Adams county has lost population in every census since that time. The racial composition of the county in the 2010 census was 98.1 percent white, 0.6 percent Asian, 0.5 percent American Indian, 0.2 percent black or African American, 0.1 percent from other races, and 0.5 percent from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.9 percent of the population. An extremely non-diverse county in terms of race.
12.2 percent of the population live in households with income at or below the poverty level. The per capita income was estimated at $23,549, which ranks 23rd of 99 in counties in Iowa. Adams county had the 15th lowest unemployment rate in 2010. (As of November 2016, the unemployment rate was 2.1 percent.) In terms of educational attainment, Adams county has the 5th lowest rate of residents having received a bachelors degree or higher, 13.4 percent.
Adams County is currently a part of the 3rd congressional district, represented by David Young-R since 2015. Currently Adams county is a part of the 11th District in the Iowa Senate represented by Tom Shipley-R and part of the 21st District in the Iowa House of Representatives represented by Tom Moore-R.
2016 Elections Results
Trump 1,325 (62.18%) Clinton 565 (26.51%) Others 171 (8.02%)
Grassley 1,515 (71.09%) Judge 454 (21.30%) Others 162 (7.61%)
Young 1448 (67.95%) Mowrer 476 (22.33%) Other 207 (9.72%)
Iowa Senate- No Race
Iowa House- Moore (unopposed)
Since 1960, the Republican Nominee has carried Adams County 9 times and the Democratic Nominee 6 times, as recently as 2008. Romney carried Adams county in 2012 by only 3 percent while Trump won in 2016 with a 36 percent advantage!
The Adams county Board of Supervisors has a 4-1 Republican Majority
Democrats hold the office of County Treasurer
Republicans hold the offices of County Auditor, County Recorder, and County Sheriff
While Adams County was an electoral disaster for Democrats in 2016, at the presidential level it has been competitive as recently as 2012. Many 2016 election post mortems have pointed out the disastrous (for Democrats) collapse of support in rural areas that have little demographic diversity. Adams County is an almost perfect example of this problem. Democrats cannot expect to find electoral success when losing counties by 36 percent in Presidential elections, 50 percent in Senate elections, 46 percent in US House elections, and definitely not by failing to have a candidate for Iowa House.
Next week: Ringgold County
Sources: Iowa State University Iowa Community Indicators Program, Wikipedia, Dave Leip’s Atlas of Presidential Elections, Iowan Official Register (The Redbook).