Monday, February 1, 2016

The Iowa Caucus Doesn't Matter That Much Except For The...

Dear every media person tweeting, "I just talked to an Iowan": They're totally fucking with you...David Burge, Iowa Hawk or the most famous person living in Iowa today

This is not meant to be a hit piece on Iowa. I like Iowa. In fact, I drove through it many years ago. The handful of people I met in the entire state were great Americans.

But the media and political frenzy over the Iowa Caucus has me scratching my head.

History clearly shows Iowa Caucuses have a minor impact on who gets the nomination nod. Some examples:

  • Republicans: With the exception of GW Bush, winners included Rick Santorum (2012), Mike Huckabee (2008),  Bob Dole (1996), Bob Dole (1988),  George H W Bush (1980).
  • Democrats: With the exception of Mr. Obama, John Kerry (2004), Al Gore (2000), Tom Harkin (1992), Dick Gephardt (1988), Walter Mondale (1984), and Jimmy Carter (1980).
So what's the point? 

For one, it gives the media lots of news during the news cycle especially since the arrival of cable news.  Let's be frank. It's hard to make Iowa that interesting without the intrusion of politics every 4 years. Also, unless you're a big Iowa Hawkeye NCAA football fan and fond of rows and rows of corn, what else is there to report on?

It can also be a boost for the candidates. After all, the media does much of the publicity for the candidates. Even more importantly, it can increase potential donors enabling candidates to move on to the primaries.  In other words, like almost anything having to do with politics, it comes down to money.

Just ask Hillary Clinton.