Delegating Denver #19 of 56: Iowa

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View larger image Iowa

Total Number of Delegates: 56 Pledged: 45 Unpledged: 11

How to Recognize an Iowa Delegate: Iowa is the smartest state in the union, topping the annual list for national ACT and SAT scores. That’s only fitting, since the national ACT offices are in Iowa City, and the nationally used Iowa Test for Basic Skills is developed at the University of Iowa. Like any braniac, Iowa wins grudging acceptance for this distinction from all the other states, who know they could probably be just as smart if they would just apply themselves. And besides, Iowa isn't all that much fun and doesn't have any cool friends. To acknowledge the state’s superior intelligence, the rest of the country has awarded Iowans the task of picking the nation's president every four years. This allows Iowa residents to study the candidates while the rest of the states get drunk at Super Bowl parties. Iowa delegates not only look studious, but they’re as pragmatic about their clothes as they are about their presidential politics. Lady Hawkeyes all dress like Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie character, showing a preference for selections from the Dress Barn’s "end-of-season" sale racks. Men choose the timeless classics of Haggar comfort-fit jeans and union-made Protexall 65/35 poly/cotton blend long-sleeved button-down shirts in royal/gray or blue/white stripes.

Famous Iowans: “American Gothic” artist Grant Wood; 31st U.S. president Herbert Hoover; First Lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower; Love Boat's Gopher turned Republican congressman Fred Grandy; washing-machine baron Frederick Louis Maytag; True Grit actor John Wayne; Wonderful Life actress Donna Reed; telenovela actress Michelle Vieth; Superman actor Brandon Routh; Frodo actor Elijah Wood; Punk'd reactor Ashton Kutcher; author Peter Hedges; talk-show host Johnny Carson; Killers guitarist Dave Keuning; Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor.

Famous Iowa Democrats: Senator Tom Harkin; 2008 presidential candidate (for three months) Tom Vilsack; former senator, U.S. representative and governor John Chester Culver and his son and current governor, Chet Culver.

Famous Iowans With Denver Connections: Wild West showman Buffalo Bill Cody; jazz genius Glenn Miller; rock-n-roll genius Tommy Bolin; Fentress Architects PR coordinator Matt Popowski; Zen Cowboy singing poet Chuck Pyle; News4 morning anchor Brooke Wagner.

State Nickname: the Hawkeye State, the Tall Corn State (official); the Music Man State, the Bridges of Madison County State, Idiots Out Walking Around (unofficial) Population: 2,982,085 Racial Distribution: 93% white, 2% black, 1% Asian, 4% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $29,043 Unemployment: 5.1%


Most Iowan Denver Neighborhood: Wellshire

Most Iowan Bar: Jazz @Jack's Denver Pavilions 500 16th Street House band Dotsero's unique sound of rhythm, melody and practiced spontaneity will be in tune with Hawkeyes who have an ear of corn for music.

Most Iowan Restaurant: Okoboji Inn 5280 West 25th Avenue Edgewater, Colorado Named for the deepest of the "Iowa Great Lakes" and featuring all of the Hawkeye State's favorite foods, including broasted fries and pork tenderloin "loosemeat" sandwiches.

View larger image Best Day Trip: Buffalo Bill's Grave As all Iowa teenagers know, life in the rural West can be totally boring. In a world full of attractions, it’s hard to keep the kids down on the farm. Back in 1857, a farmer's life of toil from sunup to sundown held little interest for William Frederick Cody. So at the age of eleven, the Iowa native hired on as a scout for the railroad. In short order, he earned the nickname "Buffalo" Bill for the sharpshooting skills he employed to clear the rails of those magnificent beasts. Later, as a frontiersman, he led wealthy businessmen and European royalty on hunting trips throughout the West. He was a natural showman and decided to create his own spectacular, called "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show." The theatrical re-enactments included battles, hunts, shooting displays, trick roping and races between people and animals. The show was as much entertainment as it was an effort to preserve the disappearing myth of the West as it brought it to life. In 1894, Denver newspaperman Henry Tammen tricked Cody into signing a contract that handed over complete control of the Wild West Show and kept Cody on as a mere employee and salaried attraction. As bad as that sounds, in 1917 Tammen strong-armed Cody's widow into burying her husband's remains in a park west of Denver, against his wishes to be laid to rest in Cody, Wyoming. Iowans can visit the site of their native son on Lookout Mountain. The grave overlooks the city that forces him in death, as in life, to toil from sunup to sundown as a tourist attraction.

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