Friday, May 27, 2011

Will Iowa matter next year?

Iowa is wondering if the caucuses will still hold the same oomph that they have delivered in the past. Sure they elevated Huckabee in 2008, but that wasn't enough to gain him the nomination. New Hampshire and South Carolina were more important for the nomination. Would Romney do better there this year? It's hard to say. Pawlenty is counting on doing well. If he does, pundits will dismiss that victory as just what he needed to do given that he comes from a neighboring state. Though if he does poorly, that could be a death blow to his candidacy. If Michelle Bachmann does well, does anyone think that she truly has a real shot at the nomination? The same thing goes for Herman Cain.

Iowa might be important enough to kill off some candidacies, but it may well not have the kingmaker role that it has claimed in the past. That would be a blessing. There is no reason that a state as unrepresentative as Iowa should have such a hold on our nation's politics. And its influence on ethanol policy is so pernicious. That is why it would be a blessing if Pawlenty did well in Iowa. It would be a very good thing if he demonstrated that a candidate could oppose ethanol subsidies in Iowa and still do well there.


Rick Caird said...

Particularly since Iowa has become a more liberal state in recent years. It becomes more like picking a Republican candidate based on what New York or California prefers. No matter what those two states like, it will not result in a Republican winning there.

Opus said...

"There is no reason that a state as unrepresentative as Iowa should have such a hold on our nation's politics"

A statement made by someone who obviously has no clue about Iowa and a borderline bigoted statment.
Being "unrepresentative", I'd like the author's description of what exactly she means by that remark.

Pat Patterson said...

Well probably the simplest factor is that it is almost 97% white and still uses a caucus system where in some precincts people from other precincts can be bused in and vote for their candidate.

Opus said...

The percentage of men,women is equal or close enough to the national numbers. The percentage of different age groups matches the national numbers. They have a higher rate of home ownership and more highschool graduates than the national average.
Which leaves us with race. Iowa is 89% non-hispanic white, the national break down is 65%. Those numbers aren't that far apart. Iowa is representative, since your complaint is too many white people,then what should the per centage be? Can we then use the argument that other states have too many blacks,hispanics or asians without being called racist?

Pat Patterson said...

The latest figures available have the white population at 96%+ while the population percentage of blacks is actually going down but is currently at 2.6%. So yes I would say demographically and economically Iowa is unrepresentative of the rest of the country and just as much so as say California or Maxine Waters Congressional District. While it may have more home owners its percapita income levels are not that far off the poorest states in the South.

You were the one arguing that Iowa was indeed representative of the country but it obviously is in the bottom tier both interms of diversity and income but the important distinction is that a few thousand highly motivated party activists gather and then claim to speak for the rest of the state. This is more reminiscent of an online poll being taken seriously when if you vote you can only vote once a day.