Yes, please: Iowa governor calls for end of Ames straw poll

posted at 8:01 pm on November 20, 2012 by Allahpundit

Does anyone not think this is a good idea?

“I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Mr. Branstad said of the 33-year-old GOP ritual. “It has been a great fundraiser for the party but I think its days are over.”…

Its track record as an anointer of GOP nominees falls far shy of impressive. Only two victors, Bob Dole in 1995 and George W. Bush in 1999, went on to win the Iowa caucus the next year and then the nomination in November. And only one, Mr. Bush, went on to become president…

In an interview, Gov. Branstad pointed to Ms. Bachmann’s rapid rise and fall in 2011 as Exhibit A for why the straw poll no longer makes sense. The Bachmann campaign invested heavily in the one-day event, busing in thousands of supporters from around Iowa and hiring singers like Randy Travis to entertain them in a huge tent…

“You saw what happened the last time,” Gov. Branstad said. “I don’t think candidates will spend the time or money to participate in a straw poll if they don’t see any real benefit coming out of it.”

Remember, the straw poll is really just a fundraising stunt for the Iowa GOP. It’s a country fair with tents and music and barbecue and speeches and, eventually, a vote; it costs 30 bucks to get in, but the candidates are desperate enough to get people down there to cast their ballot that they’ll buy your ticket for you and bus you in if you’re willing to go. All of which would be sweet and adorable if it was just for funsies with no consequences. It isn’t. The outcome is the first tiny tea leaf of the primary season, which means the press — which is starved at that point for some sort of result to write about — goes berserk for it even though they should know better. Thus it came to be that Ames 2011 gifted us with the Michele Bachmann juggernaut while the vastly more electable Tim Pawlenty crashed on the launchpad and dropped out the next day. Finishing a distant third to Bachmann and Ron Paul was fatal to T-Paw because he’d spent a bunch of money trying to deliver voters to the poll and got nothing but a ream of “still no enthusiasm for Pawlenty” headlines for his trouble. Show of hands: Given what you now know about how effective the left’s Bain/tax returns/dressage attacks were on Romney, with his own comments about the “47 percent” the icing on the cake, who doesn’t wish the famously blue-collar T-Paw had stuck around and taken his chances in the Iowa caucuses? Remember, the Bachmann “bounce” from Ames lasted just eight weeks or so; she won the poll in mid-August and had sunk back to single digits by mid-October after the Gardasil fiasco. Maybe Pawlenty would have continued to flounder at the debates, or maybe not. We’ll never know. Thanks to Ames.

But maybe this situation is self-correcting. Any Republican with a plausible shot at the nomination in 2016 has every reason to skip Ames, and almost certainly will skip it or else contest it with ostentatious indifference. There’s too much risk of being Pawlenty’d by a longshot candidate like Bachmann who’s heavily invested in winning the poll as a way to jumpstart his/her candidacy. So even if Ames isn’t canceled — and the state GOP will fight it every step of the way — it may end up becoming the equivalent of a play-in game for dark horse candidates only to see who ends up as the lowest seed in the fall’s GOP primary tourney. Or maybe it’ll become a battlespace for candidates who are fighting for a particular niche of the electorate. E.g., if Huckabee runs in 2016 and is inclined to skip Ames but then Santorum decides he’ll contest it in hopes of winning and getting some buzz as the “true social conservative choice,” will that force Huck into contesting it too? In that case, you still have a “Pawlenty problem” potentially, where an otherwise viable contender is weakened from the bad press if he loses Ames. This is why cancellation is a good idea. It avoids these prisoner’s-dilemma scenarios.

Anyway. Now that that’s done, can we also agree that the similarly charming-yet-silly Iowa caucuses should be replaced with a statewide primary, if only to encourage GOP registration before the general election? Or better still, instead of following the traditional Iowa/New Hampshire/South Carolina three-step over the course of several weeks, why not have those three vote on the same day so that we have a multi-regional picture of how Republican voters view the field? If one candidate can win multiple states, great — he/she’s a legit frontrunner. If the three states split three ways, great — that’s a fun race and would ensure that no one steamrolls the rest of the opposition. The big worry would be that having to compete in multiple states would put poorer, less organized candidates at a disadvantage, but that risk also exists in the traditional scheme: A rich, organized candidate should, in theory, focus on Iowa and win there, then use his momentum and campaign advantages to cinch New Hampshire and mop up in South Carolina. That was Romney’s goal, in fact. Didn’t work out. Money and organization don’t always win, at least in the primaries.


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If there was one thing that the primary season accomplished this year, it was to destroy any potential GOP candidates well before the convention began. It is time to fundamentally reform this moronic system by having it end much earlier and by having every Republican in every state vote in a closed primary on the same day.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Yes, please: Iowa governor calls for end of Ames straw poll Iowa privilege to be the first caucus state every 4 years

Id like that much better.

Valkyriepundit on November 20, 2012 at 8:07 PM

E.g., if Huckabee runs in 2016 and is inclined to skip Ames but then Santorum decides he’ll contest it in hopes of winning and getting some buzz as the “true social conservative choice,” will that force Huck into contesting it too?

Really, Allah? You couldn’t have used Rand Paul and Rubio in your little hypothetical? I hadn’t thought it possible for me to feel more dispirited…

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:10 PM

it costs 30 bucks to get in, but the candidates are desperate enough to get people down there to cast their ballot that they’ll buy your ticket for you

Gifts! Keep the straw poll, it’s great practice for the general election/

sauldalinsky on November 20, 2012 at 8:12 PM

MOOT POINT.

The *gop is dead, dead, dead.

Because until they ARE WILLING TO GO AFTER THE MEDIA MAFIA they will have no man parts.

When I see a republican that isn’t a pole dancer for the media and won’t take a beatdown from them………THEN I might be ready to support the pansy arsed, limp handshake, despicable gop leadership.

Show some life gop by FIRING BOEHNER and MCCONNELL.

PappyD61 on November 20, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Good Lord republicans……..

…..what the heck is wrong with you?

PappyD61 on November 20, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Eliminate the straw poll, all caucuses, and realign the primary election dates to reward success and punish failure. By that I mean start with the first census after the 49th and 50th states were added to the union. That was 1960 now pick a day in the middle of the primary season say May 1st, if a state gains electorial votes they move up a week for each vote and if the loose electorial votes they move back a week for each vote lost.

And last but most important closed primaries.

meci on November 20, 2012 at 8:17 PM

If there was one thing that the primary season accomplished this year, it was to destroy any potential GOP candidates well before the convention began.

How about we just have the RNC and big money donors get together and pick up the nominee and give up the facade entirely of the grassroots having any input in the process since people like you always want a quick decision to hell with whether it’s right or not.

Riddle me. John McCain was all but nominated but February and lost. Obama and Hillary slugged it until August and guess who won?

adamsweb on November 20, 2012 at 8:17 PM

If there was one thing that the primary season accomplished this year, it was to destroy any potential GOP candidates well before the convention began. It is time to fundamentally reform this moronic system by having it end much earlier and by having every Republican in every state vote in a closed primary on the same day.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:07 PM

…first post coming out of the gate…

and I like

it!
The convention needs to be held much earlier and the primary sooner and shorter.

KOOLAID2 on November 20, 2012 at 8:18 PM

I really wish all Republican candidates would agree to skip Iowa altogether unless they agree to caucus last. Both parties are getting sick of fellating the smug parasites but at least Democrats are getting something out of it.

Archivarix on November 20, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Does the GOP have any actual power to change these events at all? The primary process too? The whole system needs to be reformed but the GOP acts like like liberal Democrats asked to shrink the size of government. If they’re powerless to do anything, hopefully some national conservative figures can promote some reform.

Dongemaharu on November 20, 2012 at 8:19 PM

If there was one thing that the primary season accomplished this year, it was to destroy any potential GOP candidates well before the convention began. It is time to fundamentally reform this moronic system by having it end much earlier and by having every Republican in every state vote in a closed primary on the same day.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Very true. There were far too many debates and by agreeing to let leberals moderate the debate, George Stephanopolous had a forum to launch the “War on Women” theme.

bw222 on November 20, 2012 at 8:21 PM

I see the comment quantity has been down on all these threads lately..

Must be the holidays…:)

Electrongod on November 20, 2012 at 8:29 PM

How about we just have the RNC and big money donors get together and pick up the nominee and give up the facade entirely of the grassroots having any input in the process since people like you always want a quick decision to hell with whether it’s right or not.

Riddle me. John McCain was all but nominated but February and lost. Obama and Hillary slugged it until August and guess who won?

adamsweb on November 20, 2012 at 8:17 PM

First off: nice blog. (I mean that sincerely.) Secondly, please explain to me in detail how it benefitted our party to have the primaries limping along after March. Or even after February. Notice that I stipulated how it benefitted our party. Note that if you work for a firm that produces political advertising or perhaps does printing, I was not actually referring to you. Extra points for charts and graphs. Also, comparisons to anything with the Democrats is not permitted. They exist on a parallel plane where the usual laws of physics do not apply.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Straw poll is a joke. And Pawlenty was so boring, his speeches cure insomnia.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 20, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Not only should the Iowa GOP get rid of the straw poll, they also need to get rid of their caucus and replace it with a primary. Remember, they didn’t manage to finish counting the votes in the caucus until 18 days later — they originally announced Mitt won, and it eventually turned out to be Santorum.

And who won the most delegates from Iowa? Ron Paul — who came in third in the caucus.

Iowa did such a poor job with their caucus in 2012 — just in terms of administration and vote counting — that they deserve to be last in the nation to hold a primary in 2016.

J.S.K. on November 20, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Yes, please. I too would’ve liked for T-Paw to stay in.

Huckabee? No way. I happened upon him on The Daily Show last night. The little bit that I watched, Stuart made him look pretty pathetic.

Syzygy on November 20, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Iowa and New Hampshire haven’t given us winnable conservatives, it’s time to change things up.

amazingmets on November 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Straw poll is a joke. And Pawlenty was so boring, his speeches cure insomnia.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 20, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I like Pawlenty and I think he is a fairly able politician (ahem) but frankly, he makes Mitt Romney look like a seething pit of testosterone and virility. If Romney is Dudley Do-right then Pawlenty must surely be this guy.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Remember, the Bachmann “bounce” from Ames lasted just eight weeks or so; she won the poll in mid-August and had sunk back to single digits by mid-October after the Gardasil fiasco.

Tardasil… good times…

JohnGalt23 on November 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Romney losing had nothing to do with the primary process. He let Obama define him for too long, he didn’t micro target pockets of GOP constituencies that are low info and low turnout, but lean right (ie immigrant communities). His ground game was a disaster. I signed up for campaign emails from Obama and Romney, I can tell you one thing, Obama’s campaign emails were so good with information (ie how to get your absentee ballot, contacts, events, polling place info) I actually used his site for early voting help.

Romney’s email didn’t even figure out what STATE I was in and when they did they didn’t sent me anything specific to my state just had the state gop spam me with a million emails most of which were in reference to local candidates despite telling them repeatedly. (And I was in a swing state).

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM

The Social Cons and a Dark Horse like Santorum will be the only ones who play in IA straw poll. There is no way that Rubio plays with it. Based on being Midwestern and having legit and deep ties to IA, Ryan is probably the frontrunner there if he decides to play. Rubio’s best play is to go for NH and try to play there…However, they like better answers than science is hard, man. Jindal’s best play is probably to camp out in NH. Christie is the frontrunner in NH , but he isn’t winning anything.

Illinidiva on November 20, 2012 at 8:43 PM

I like Pawlenty and I think he is a fairly able politician (ahem) but frankly, he makes Mitt Romney look like a seething pit of testosterone and virility. If Romney is Dudley Do-right then Pawlenty must surely be this guy.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

This scene popped in to my head when Pawlenty would give his speeches. I think this matches him perfectly. lol

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 20, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Romney’s email didn’t even figure out what STATE I was in and when they did they didn’t sent me anything specific to my state just had the state gop spam me with a million emails most of which were in reference to local candidates despite telling them repeatedly. (And I was in a swing state).

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I don’t know if the primary process hurt Romney enough to have cost him the election but I do know that it dragged on for so long and became so bitter that none of the candidates emerged unscathed. And when you have a complicit media just howling for tidbits to use against them, it was fairly obvious to me that by the time our convention ground along, our party and our eventual nominee were in an almost insurmountable hole. Consider even our own disbelief when we saw people like Gingrich and Santorum out there half-heartedly stumping for Romney. I’m not saying that our nominee shouldn’t be vetted but there has to be a less caustic and destructive method for choosing them than this one.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:46 PM

“Thus it came to be that Ames 2011 gifted us with the Michele Bachmann juggernaut while the vastly more electable Tim Pawlenty crashed on the launchpad and dropped out the next day.”

Rino droppings, AP. “Vastly more electable”, you mean next to Mitt Romney, right?

ncjetsfan on November 20, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Romney losing had nothing to do with the primary process. He let Obama define him for too long beat him

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Tsk…tsk…tsk…

FIFY. How long will it take you fellow travelers to learn?

GOP moderates do not mind losing to Democrats. On the other hand, they absolutely detest losing to conservatives. Go figure this out and you will understand why Obama won…

TheRightMan on November 20, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I see the comment quantity has been down on all these threads lately..

Must be the holidays…:)

Electrongod on November 20, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Yeah the holidays ;)

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Remember, the straw poll is really just a fundraising stunt for the Iowa GOP. It’s a country fair with tents and music and barbecue and speeches and, eventually, a vote; it costs 30 bucks to get in, but the candidates are desperate enough to get people down there to cast their ballot that they’ll buy your ticket for you in if you’re willing to go.
==============

Me thinks,Perception/Deception/Desperation!!!!
(sarc)

canopfor on November 20, 2012 at 8:55 PM

The Ames Straw Poll matters only because of the prominence of the Iowa caucuses. It’s traditionally been used by the media to gauge the early leanings of likely caucus goers. Which in turn has led candidates competing in the caucuses to game the Straw Poll to boost their caucus prospects.

If you get rid of the straw poll but keep the IA caucuses in their current pole position, then media attention will simply shift to other heuristics and tea-leaf-reading events, such as crowd reactions at the Iowa GOP Reagan Dinner, or yard-sign counts in Sioux City.

Robert_Paulson on November 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM

I really don’t give a rat’s azz what the Republican’s do anymore.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 8:58 PM

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Hey g-girl, it’s been a while. Miss you lots. Where are the other members of the “Perry Team”.

I sure hope you back in good spirits after the Romney thrashing.

We hate to say “I told you so” but I wonder how many more losses it will take the GOP to learn that moderates NEVER win elections.

Hmmm… I guess Rove et al are already planning how to foist Jeb Bush on us in 2016.

TheRightMan on November 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I mean this in the most sincere way possible: if our primary has to begin in a single state, the GOP should be bold and pick California. The road back (to a true stable national majority and not just narrowly winning the WH) starts with learning how both to (1) openly embrace conservative principles, and (2) win California. Time to get started.

Robert_Paulson on November 20, 2012 at 9:01 PM

O/T: Happy Birthday, Joe Biden!

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 9:03 PM

O/T: Happy Birthday, Joe Biden!

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Whatever

Electrongod on November 20, 2012 at 9:06 PM

TheRightMan on November 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Hey stranger!

I think I’ll be permanently pissed off for the next 4 years. I’ll live to fight another day however. I just hope the country can survive. It’s going to be a long and scary four years.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Remember when a bunch of HotAir boobs were running around saying ‘Obama will have PAWLENTY of.time for golf come 2013?”

Good times

corujodp on November 20, 2012 at 9:36 PM

If there was one thing that the primary season accomplished this year, it was to destroy any potential GOP candidates well before the convention began. It is time to fundamentally reform this moronic system by having it end much earlier and by having every Republican in every state vote in a closed primary on the same day.

cynccook on November 20, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Yep. And we need to take care of this. Somehow, some way. No wonder the Dems and the MSM act so freaking confident when they not so subtly “choose” a GOP candidate they’d like to run against. And of course the GOP establishment goes right along with them because they are secretly in on the game themselves.

We hate to say “I told you so” but I wonder how many more losses it will take the GOP to learn that moderates NEVER win elections.

Hmmm… I guess Rove et al are already planning how to foist Jeb Bush on us in 2016.

TheRightMan on November 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM

They’re going to keep on doing it ad nauseam (on our part, not theirs). They won’t learn because they know their real enemy, as well as the Dems, are Conservatives and conservative principles.

PatriotGal2257 on November 20, 2012 at 9:48 PM

They’re going to keep on doing it ad nauseam (on our part, not theirs). They won’t learn because they know their real enemy, as well as the Dems, are Conservatives and conservative principles.

PatriotGal2257 on November 20, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Well the best way to beat that is not split the vote in the primary. If there was one candidate that conservatives could rally around – you would beat the “chosen” candidate.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 9:54 PM

it may end up becoming the equivalent of a play-in game for dark horse candidates only to see who ends up as the lowest seed in the fall’s GOP primary tourney.

This is the absolute most influence the straw poll should have. Frankly, I’d prefer the state institute a primary – a far more democratic (small D)system of letting state party members choose their nominee. The caucuses are ripe for gaming by small, well-organized fringe groups (see B. Obama vs. H. Clinton and Ron Paul vs. everyone). Caucuses disenfranchise people who have to work that night, can’t get child-care, or just generally can’t go to someone’s house for 2 hours and have a verbal slugfest.

Tim Pawlenty was my first choice for 2012. Michelle Bachmann was always an unlikely candidate to score the nomination but she sure managed to saw her fellow Minnesotan off at the knees on the road to raising her name recognition. I’m sure the Obama campaign would have managed to savage Tim Pawlenty just as they did Mitt Romney, but it might not have stuck as well.

Jill1066 on November 20, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Well the best way to beat that is not split the vote in the primary. If there was one candidate that conservatives could rally around – you would beat the “chosen” candidate.

gophergirl on November 20, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Yep, that’s it exactly. The hard part is finding such a candidate that conservatives could rally around.

PatriotGal2257 on November 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM

How about serious candidates just skip the stupid straw polls, and focus are more traditional ways of getting your message to the public.

V-rod on November 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM

T-Paw, Should’ve been, would’ve been, wasn’t, sigh…

jarodea on November 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM

There’s one lesson I’ve learned from the 2008 and 2012 presidential primaries: nothing I do can influence the outcome of the GOP primary. Next time, if I’m still around, I won’t donate or work for any primary candidate in the presidential race. My money and vote count for exactly zero in the primaries. So from now on I’ll just be a spectator until the nominee is chosen. It’ll be much more relaxing and cheaper for me.

juliesa on November 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Although I did support our nominee and was beyond disappointed in the outcome, I have to say I agree 100% that the primary debates were devastating to the GOP. I never saw Reagan’s 11th commandment violated so badly, never saw anything like it- and in the past that commandment always set Republicans apart as the adults in the room. While it was horrible in these last primaries, I saw a brief preview of it back in 2008- it was from Romney, with his attacks on McCain. It resulted in McCain & Huckabee joining forces to get him booted out. He continued in attack mode in the last primaries, but never went after Obama with the same vengeance.

kg598301 on November 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Pawlenty? Pshaw!!! Glad that milquetoast lost. On the other hand, maybe it would have been better if he stayed in so as to split the RINO vote. Seriously, if the caucuses and primaries had run on a best of three votes – where voters get to pick their first, second and third choices, Mittness and Pawlenty would never have risen to the top. This method ensures that, 1) the conservative and/or RINO votes get split and 2) more importantly that we get a motivated turnout as the primaries run to the very end (ending the sense of inevitability by the time the last third of the states vote) and that for a majority of folks, one of their top three picks is on the ticket.

Also like the suggestion that order of precedence be determined by the previous election, albeit instead of EVs, do it by raw percentage. For example, Oklahoma would go second because they voted 68-29 for Romney – who cares if the Donks vote on the same or different date – the parties should be footing the total bill to determine their own candidates.

Also they should be closed.

But by now, I think the GOP is toast with a new constitutional party in its stead. And that’s what I think of that…

AH_C on November 21, 2012 at 1:17 AM

Iowa and New Hampshire haven’t given us winnable conservatives, it’s time to change things up.

amazingmets on November 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

How about this: Primary order is based on the previous presidential election. Take each state and calculate the percent of the vote that went to the GOP nominee. The top five go first, the next five a week later, and so on. Therefore, it becomes an incentive to state GOP organizations. If they can turn out more of the vote, they get a higher position in the selection process. That would necessarily put the reliably red states at the top but as Breitbart was known to say: So? If you want to mix it up, pick three from the top and two from the bottom on each round.

Odysseus on November 21, 2012 at 6:49 AM

Tim Pawlenty quit because he had little fight in him, not because a straw poll defeat was a blow so crushing that no man, even one ready to beat Obama for the Presidency, could have stood up to it.

Michele Bachmann’s candidacy fell apart because her supporters rushed to Rick Perry. As with the Dean Scream, the famous mistake came after the real defeat. She doesn’t deserve much blame for her campaign failing; if Perry had not self-destructed, everyone else’s supporters might have rushed to him too; Bachmann was simply the front-runner when Rick Perry was death on whoever the front-runner was.

In this primary season, conservative voters rushed from one leader to another, looking for an exciting champion to fall in love with.

The straw poll is only one small part of a primary system that might as well be designed to produce moderate winning candidates too timid to fire up the existing base and to conventional to build a new one.

David Blue on November 21, 2012 at 7:29 AM

How about swing states go first? The nine or so defined as swing states last election.. This way the GOP and candidates can test out their election day organizing and make sure that everyone is registered.

Illinidiva on November 21, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Let them eat cake Twinkies deep fried butter!

blammm on November 21, 2012 at 8:23 AM

The Iowa contest in general is everything that’s wrong with the modern GOP. It’s basically just a contest of who can be the most over-the-top in the religion department, scaring the hell out of independent voters.

It would the equivalent if Democrats had their first primary in Harlem, and they were trying to appease the Jesse Jackson wing of the Party.

Look at the big names out of Iowa: Michelle Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, etc. Iowa makes the public at large think we’re some sort of TheoCrat Party.

My advice is take both contests away from Iowa, it’s a reliably liberal state now anyway, let them go ahead and throw a tantrum.

BradTank on November 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM

It seems to me the Iowa GOP has no clout anyway. A consistent Blue State time and time again. The heck with that!

If I was a GOP candidate, I’d get on the TV and tell Iowa to go straight to hell! Come see me when the state has a chance of electing a non democrat.

kens on November 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM

meci-That’s a good start. Iowa straw poll is a farce, the candidates buy the tickets and buy the votes.
I lost any respect for Pawlenty when he quit only because Bachmann one it, it is not a BFD.

Bachmann went after Perry so hard in the debates soon after it because he announced the same day and stole her thunder. She’s thinking of running again, along with Santorum, NO to both. Jeb Bush and Christie all think they might run too, if any of them run, I won’t vote for them at all.
I live in MA and my vote does not count. I might just sit 2016 out. I’m disgusted by the people in this country that reelected O.

carolt2 on November 21, 2012 at 3:55 PM

As an Iowan, I get a little sensitive about these things. We are inordinately important in the process, I admit. But Iowa’s importance has a lot to do with media hype. The caucuses became a “major” event in ’76 when Carter won the Democrat caucus unexpectedly and went on to be elected. Before that New Hampshire was the main event. And all the straw poll is is a fundraiser and a clue to how organized the candidates are more than a year in advance, not the college of cardinals choosing a pope. Iowa hypes its place in the process. It doesn’t have to be that way.

nkviking75 on November 21, 2012 at 11:05 PM