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Opinion | Midwest Is a State of Mind

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Why do 42% of Coloradans think they live in the Midwest? Or 31% of Kentuckians? The Middle West Review, a journal of history and literature, recently hired Emerson College Polling to ask 11,000 people across 22 states, “Do you consider yourself to live in the Midwest?” And the answers they got were all over the map.

The poll tried to define a regional spirit by geography, but states of mind don’t always break along state borders. Sure, more than 96% of Iowans and Minnesotans think they live in the Midwest, as do 93% of Wisconsin and Illinois residents and more than 92% of North and South Dakotans. But when more than 25% of people in Arkansas and Idaho and 9% in Tennessee and Pennsylvania think they live in the Midwest, self-identity has lost touch with geography.

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