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What States Are Part of the Midwest? A New Poll Has the Lines Blurred

As Wisconsinites, we're well-aware of what it means to be a Midwesterner: cassaroles, saying "ope" constantly, and being surrounded by cornfields. But according to a new poll, not every state knows where they belong.

A new study by Emerson College surveyed 11,000 people across 22 states, asking if they believed their state was a part of the Midwest. While many of the obvious states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio were an obvious shoe-in, there were a handful of states that seemed to teeter the line.

  • Iowa (96.7%)
  • Minnesota (96.5%)
  • Missouri (95.3%)
  • Illinois (93.8%)
  • North Dakota (93.8%)
  • Wisconsin (93.6%)
  • Nebraska (92.8%)
  • South Dakota (92.2%)
  • Indiana (91.6%)
  • Kansas (91.2%)
  • Michigan (85.5%)
  • Ohio (78.2%)
  • Oklahoma (66.2%)
  • Wyoming (53.5%)

Photo: Emmert, Jenalee

Montana, Idaho and Wyoming--states that I would traditionally call the Great Plains--had mixed answers, unsure if they were Midwestern or not. A couple of Southern states like Tennessee and Arkansas snuck in too.

While the Midwest is mostly categorized by geography and weather, we also share a great sense of culture and solidarity with each other--which makes me wonder why 9.4% of people in Pennsylvania think they could ever understand our NFL rivalries or why 9.7% of Tennessee participants think they could ever understand why every household needs two snowblowers.

I'm not the only one who finds it odd--the poll results have definitely stirred up some discussion online:

What do you think? Is it time to start gatekeeping the Midwest or should we share with our identity-less neighbors?

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