Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I, as well as many of Americans, are sick about hearing about Iowa and the upcoming caucus. I can't believe that Iowa has such a stranglehold on the attention of the candidates.

Here are some facts about the Iowa caucus:

1. Only 1 in 29 Iowans vote in the caucus

2. The people who do vote are very uncommitted. Take this story as an example. A Newsweek reporter saw a woman wearing an Edwards button. Are you a supporter? the reporter inquired. "That's just today," she responded. "Joe Biden was here earlier this week and I was wearing his buttons." So, the reported asked, it's between Biden and Edwards for you? "No, no, no," she said, shaking her head at the re-porter's innocence. "This is Iowa. I've even worn a Romney sticker." As of a poll yesterday, 40% of probable caucus-goers were still undecided.

3. The rules are a little ridiculous and fabricated. A candidate must collect at least 15 percent of the vote at a local caucus to be considered "viable." If the votes fall short—entirely possible in a six- or seven-person field—then the caucusgoers can switch their votes to another candidate, setting off a hectic round of horse trading and arm twisting and turning close contests into sudden runaways.

4. A win or loss by no means determines the outcomes of the party's nomination. For example, in 1992, Bill Clinton received only 3% of the vote in Iowa!!

5. Iowans have poor judgement. In 2000, Bush received 41% of the vote, and McCain only received 5% of the vote. Even if you are not a fan of McCain, I think most of us, and the world, believe we would have been better off with McCain as President instead of Dubya.

Well, after Thursday, the caucus will be over, and Iowa will go back to being the quiet, sleepy corn-growing state that it once was, and should always be.


Will said...

Wait a minute now Steve. We're going to condemn the whole caucus system b/c of some goofy Iowegian who was clearly hamming it up for the interview? In point of fact (which this post UNCHARACTERISTICALLY is devoid of), Iowa has a very educated populace, a history of diverse political leanings (lest we forget the support for socialist Eugene Debs) and a reasonably wide spectrum of sociodemographic representation (except racial, yes, but that doesn't seem to be slowing Sen. Obama). Also, 1 in 29 voting does sound bad but do we have any evidence that this ratio leads to skewed results? We base a TON of clinical research on ratios much worse than this.

Cocameister said...
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