Iowa

Have you ever wondered why Iowa has such a strong influence on our presidential politics? I don’t know the history of it but I do know that Iowa holds an undeserved influence. Check out this great column:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/opinion/how-stupid-is-iowa.html?ribbon-ad-idx=5&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article&_r=1&referer=

The gist of it is that Iowa does not represent the country, demographically speaking, even a little bit. It’s whiter and it’s older and it’s much more religious than the country as a whole. Consequently,  Iowa consistently picks extreme candidates who do not win the presidency. And yet,  every four years, presidential candidates bow down to those ethanol loving folks from Iowa.

Seems kinda silly,  doesn’t it? Maybe it’s time for some other states to get the chance to influence presidential politics. Iowa and New Hampshire have had their turns.

PS  Happy 100 posts!  Thanks for reading.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Iowa

  1. Congratulations on 100 posts! I can give you a clue or two about what makes the Iowa Caucuses special, being an ex-pat Iowan. The Iowa Caucuses are about unmasking phonies. Unlike other caucus states, Iowans urge every candidate to meet personally with a wide variety of small groups WITHOUT HANDLERS. And the subsequent caucus process is by public acclimation after discussions, a show of hands in front of all those in attendance, unlike the other caucuses where it’s secret ballot. You have to be for your candidate enough to prove it in front of your neighbors. It reduces impulsive decision-making.

    If you are a candidate seated at arms length, sharing food and answering direct questions, it’s very, very hard to lie well. So if you play by Iowa rules, and aren’t the real deal, people will normally be able to see it in your eyes. Now, Trump’s a big schmoozer from way back, an experienced TV actor at a level most candidates can’t match. This is a skill advantage for Trump, as it was for Ronald Reagan, who used to be a sports reporter on Iowa radio. Still, Trump mostly skipped the small group events, manning a booth at the state fair and other typical meet-and-greets. And this is his pattern nationally as well. Once someone’s on to his game (Megyn Kelly), he tries to find ways to avoid them. He does the big rallies instead, which keeps him at a safer distance from close scrutiny by voters. Candidates haven’t normally done this in Iowa, and it might work for Trump this time, though it will be harder for candidates to do there in future.

    This “test of realness” is also why Sanders was able to close the gap on Clinton. He’s more authentic in person. She’s more guarded, not without reason given her history. It doesn’t mean a victory in Iowa guarantees a party nomination or a victory in the general election. It’s the Iowa estimation of a candidate’s level of both honesty and ease in relating to normal people in person. It’s not the only hurdle candidates have to jump over in the national primary campaigns, but that’s what value the Iowans add to the process.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the great comment. I understand the caucus process and i thinks it’s pretty darn cool. What I question though is why Iowa gets to go first and thereby having an influence that other states with populations more representative of the entire country don’t have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know why “first caucus” couldn’t rotate around to different states myself. The schedule is agreed on by the national offices of the major parties in negotiation with the state offices of those parties. In my current state of WA, the GOP and Dem caucuses are on different dates.

        Liked by 1 person

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