Number 4 of 99: Taylor County

Previous installments in this series can be found here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This week I will review our fourth-smallest county in terms of population, Taylor County. The 2010 census found 6,317 people living in the entire 532 square miles (36th smallest) that are within Taylor County. Taylor County is south and west of Des Moines. It borders on two of the other sparsely populated counties we have already reviewed, Adams and Ringgold.

According to Google Maps, the county seat of Taylor County, Bedford, is 115 road miles from the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines. Taylor County was founded in 1847 when it was separated from Page County and was named after General (and soon to be president) Zachary Taylor.

The highest population in the county was 18,784 in the 1900 census. Taylor County has lost population in every census since that time. The racial makeup of the county in 2010 was 97.71% White, 0.03% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.14% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 3.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Some 8.50 percent of the population live in households with income at or below the poverty level. Average personal income was estimated at $37,052 which was the 43rd lowest of Iowa’s 99 counties. Taylor County had the 33rd lowest unemployment rate in 2010 (tied with several others), 5.6 percent. (As of November 2016 the unemployment rate was 2.4 percent.) In terms of educational attainment, Taylor County has the 4th lowest rate of residents having received a bachelors degree or higher, 12.5 percent.

Taylor County is currently a part of the third Congressional district and has been represented by David Young (R) since 2015.

Currently Taylor County is a part of Iowa Senate district 12, represented by Mark Costello (R) and part of Iowa House district 24, represented by Cecil Dolecheck (R).

2016 Elections Results
Donald Trump 2,111 (69.7 percent) Hillary Clinton 758 (25.0 percent) Others 160 (5.3 percent)
US Senate Chuck Grassley 2,220 (75.5 percent) Patty Judge 613 (20.8 percent) Others 108 (3.7 percent)
US House David Young 2,001 (72.9 percent) Jim Mowrer 612 (21.2 percent) Other 171 (5.9 percent)
Iowa Senate- Mark Costello-R 2,029 (79.1 percent) Don Brantz-Libertarian 535 (20.8 percent) Others 2 (0.1 percent) NO DEMOCRATIC candidate
Iowa House- Cecil Dolecheck-Unopposed

Since 1960, the Republican Nominee has carried Taylor County 11 times and the Democratic Nominee 4 times, with the most recent Democratic victory in 1996. Romney carried Taylor county in 2012 by 14.05 percent while Trump won in 2016 with a 44.7 percent advantage! President Bill Clinton won Taylor County by 1.2 percent in 1996.

The Taylor County Board of Supervisors has a 2-1 Republican majority. The county sheriff is a Republican, as are all other county elected officials.

Taylor County was an another electoral disaster for Democrats in 2016. Many 2016 election post mortems have pointed out the disastrous (for Democrats) collapse of support in rural areas that have little demographic diversity. Taylor County is an another almost perfect example of this problem. Democrats cannot expect to find electoral success when losing counties by 45 percent in Presidential elections, 55 percent in Senate elections, 51 percent in US House elections, and definitely not by failing to have a candidate for Iowa Senate or Iowa House.

Next week: Wayne County

Sources: Iowa State University Iowa Community Indicators Program, Wikipedia, Dave Leip’s Atlas of Presidential Elections, Iowan Official Register (The Redbook), Iowa State Auditor – See more at: /2017/01/04/up-next-audubon-county-399/#sthash.jZda5vOv.dpuf

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