Recognize this state? How many do you think called it Wisconsin?


Washington Post blogger/number cruncher (and new booster of northwestern Minnesota) Christopher Ingraham came up with an Independence Day quiz that's a fun holiday diversion.

The 10-question, multiple choice quiz focuses on things that make the U.S.A. number one – categories where we rank number one in the world, mostly.

Ingraham betrayed a little subjective bias on question number seven, though, when he declared America home to the number one greatest state in the world. Based on its shape, he then asked readers to identify it as either Wisconsin, Michigan, Manitoba, or Minnesota.

So, one-third of respondents got Minnesota confused with Wisconsin. It's fresh evidence that the middle of the country remains fly-over land for many Americans.

But if you're familiar with the backstory, you know our man Mr. Ingraham has a whole new perspective on this.

From 'ugliest' to home

It was less than a year ago when Ingraham used numbers compiled by the federal government to rank all the counties in America by how desirable they are to live in.

The premise was that most people prefer mild weather, sunshine, some variety in the landscape, and want to be near a body of water.

Southern California did well by those measures. The Red River Valley and northwestern Minnesota not so much. And Red Lake County finished at the very bottom of the list, earning it the unwelcome title of ugliest county in the U.S.

Long story short, there was a backlash from Red Lake County and its Minnesota supporters.

Ingraham finally felt compelled to visit the county in person and the locals treated him to a good-natured tour. Impressed by the land and its people, he wrote a follow-up post in praise of Red Lake, calling it "flat out gorgeous."

So when Ingraham and his wife decided they wanted to raise their twin boys in the country rather than in the Washington, D.C. area, they knew just where to relocate, revealing in March that they were moving to Red Lake County.

All of which makes our man Chris a fervent supporter of the greatest state in the world – which a third of those taking his quiz think is Wisconsin.

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