Illinois turns out to be the most representative state in the United States.
Critics often question why the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary are given so much importance. They complain on the political power given to those states. They also wonder if Iowa and New Hampshire are representative enough for the country.
A recent NPR report comes with the answer. It is called the Perfect State Index (PSI). The PSI is decided according to five categories: race, education, age, income and religion.
Illinois wins in the race category, Delaware in education and Virginia in age. Pennsylvania wins in income category while it’s a tie among Florida, Indiana, Iowa and North Dakota in the religion category.
While Illinois tops the list, Kansas gets the second position. Iowa stands at the 16th position, with New Hampshire at No. 49.
While NPR acknowledges its methods are “somewhat arbitrary,” it feels those five indicators are the most important ones to understand political behaviour.
“Race is one where there’s a sharp divide between how whites vote and how most minorities vote,” the Brookings Institution demographer Bill Frey said. “The race classification is a really good indicator to understand something about how elections are going to turn out.”
Meanwhile, 29.4 percent of Delaware’s total population has at least a bachelor’s degree. The national figure is 29.3 percent. According to Frey, Delaware’s geography has a lot to do with its achievements.
“It’s an important state, but it is considered to be kind of a suburb of Philadelphia writ large and increasingly college graduates have been living and moving to the suburbs, and that’s part of what Delaware is as well,” he said.
Iowa, the first nominating state, ranks high on the average-income category. It also matches with the national percentage in terms of religion. Fifty-three percent of people in Iowa believe religion is “very important.”
New Hampshire and Vermont have the oldest voters in the country. Frey believes voters, who are 65 or older, will play a major role in the election.
Meanwhile, as the Iowa caucuses are only a few hours away, polls reveal Donald Trump is leading the Republican race. Trump (28 percent) beats his nearest competitor, Ted Cruz, by five percent.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, leads the Democratic race with 45 percent. Her nearest rival, Bernie Sanders, is just three points behind the former US secretary of state.