When you look in the mirror, is that attractive person in the flannel shirt and boots looking back at you a Midwesterner? There’s a pretty good chance the answer is yes.
A survey by Emerson College Polling and a publication called the Middle West Review explored the idea of Midwest identity, polling 11,000 people in 22 states, asking respondents whether they lived in what they deemed the Midwest and whether they considered themselves to be Midwestern.
It can hardly be considered shocking news 96% of Wisconsinites believe they reside in the Midwest. And 86% of those surveyed see themselves as Midwesterners.
People in Iowa and Minnesota consider their home state even more Midwestern than ours, with 97% claiming the designation. Which, let’s be honest, suggests they’re trying to compensate for something.
Interestingly, people in states as far away as Idaho, Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania also put their home state under the Midwestern umbrella. It wouldn’t be very Midwestern of us to dismiss them out of hand, so we’ll just let them have it for now.
We do feel these findings call for further analysis of the 14% who live in Wisconsin but don’t consider themselves Midwesterners. They can’t all have transferred here for work. Are they aspiring movie stars who have already made the move to Hollywood in their mind? Are they day traders in Oconomowoc who believe Wall Street is their real home? Or maybe they’re the kind of people who call themselves global citizens? Could they be the shape-shifting lizard people your crazy uncle read about on the Internet and keeps bringing up at family gatherings?
Whoever they are, it seems like the next issue of the Middle West Review is already halfway written. We anxiously await their complete findings about these mysterious individuals who walk amongst us next month.