Swenson media contacts

February 3, 2020

David SwensonDavid Swenson, associate scientist, had several recent media contacts:

Beatriz Navarro, La Vanguardia (Spain), on the economy and which parts of the state (and industries) were more dependent on immigrants than others.

Tom Philpot, Mother Jones, about the extent to which farm policy reforms are components of candidate campaign speeches and how candidate attention to rural policy has changed over the years.

Elaine Godfrey, The Atlantic about the importance of the Mississippi River counties as an indication of how economic conditions might affect caucus participation.

Caroline Cummings, Sinclair Broadcast Group in Iowa, about Swenson's research on the economic impacts of the caucuses and whether losing the first in the nation position would seriously affect the Iowa economy.

A Jan. 30 story on WCBI, "Local Business Owners Cash in on the Iowa Caucus."

Though the impact does feel huge to many residents, Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson said that “it’s a really little drop in the bucket.”

He had found that major candidates spent over $350 million in the run-up to the caucus in 2008, but only 4% went to Iowa — around $15 million in a state economy of over $130 billion.

Swenson compared the caucuses to hosting the NCAA regional tournament. “If corn and soybean prices go up or down, the value of those kinds of changes dwarf the value of the caucuses.” 

A Jan. 31 NBCNews.com story, "Amid calls for Iowa to lose its caucus status, how would its economy fare?"

David Swenson, an associate scientist in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University, pushed back on the importance of the influx every four years, pointing out that Iowa creates almost $200 billion worth of gross domestic product and employs two million people across the state.

“What we get out of it isn’t the tangible economic rewards of our economy being boosted,” Swenson said, “What we get out of it is the fact that people utter the word ‘Iowa’ over and over and over again, generally in a positive light.”

Swenson was quoted in a Feb. 2 New York Times story, "The Graying of the American Economy Is on Display in Iowa."

“Iowa’s economy is two economies — we have a thriving metropolitan economy and then a nonmetropolitan economy that has not in aggregate recovered from the Great Recession — it’s losing jobs, it’s losing people, and we can see the consequences of this distress playing out.” said David Swenson, an associate scientist in Iowa State’s economics department.

In a Feb. 3 CNBC.com story, "Democrats get their first chance to choose their 2020 presidential candidate in Iowa, which has been at the center of Trump’s trade war," Swenson was quoted:

While Iowa is associated with farming, the state’s economy is a lot more than agriculture. Des Moines and Iowa’s other largest metropolitan areas have enjoyed a boost from the technology and health-care sectors, Swenson said. Apple and Facebook, among others, have opened data centers in Iowa in recent years.

In a Feb. 7 interview on Morning Edition, Iowa Public Radio, "Caucus Counting, Social Media Concerns and Coronavirus," Swenson said:

"Iowa went into the recession a little later than the nation did, didn't contract as much as the United States average did, and it started to recover sooner. As a matter of fact, Iowa recovered all of its lost jobs by March 2013. The U.S. didn't recover until April 2014. We had a lot of capital development throughout this time and that helped us not decline as far. Also Iowa farmers led that recovery at least in rural areas."


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