Iowa Caucuses More About Feeding The Pigs Than Picking GOP Presidential Candidate

Iowa Caucuses More About Feeding The Pigs Than Picking GOP Presidential Candidate

The Iowa Caucuses will be in full swing shortly to determine, who Iowans think, is the best presidential candidate for the GOP. However, does it really mean anything in the long haul? After all, since this unique method of straw-polling began Iowa has only been able to correctly predict the eventual winner 50% of the time. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think Iowa hasn’t got an edge over the rest of the nation when it comes to picking who is best equipped to head the GOP Presidential Ticket.

While I have always admired that Iowans are active participants in the political process, I have also believed that their first in the nation caucus system has become more about about infusing money into local economies than actually trying to persuade other Americans on who the best candidate for president will be. I mean, it hasn’t been very hard to see that the Iowa Caucuses have morphed into one hell of a profitable cottage industry. Of course much of that has to do with having the honor of being the first political voice in the nation for evaluating presidential candidates. Naturally, most serious candidates must spend an enormous amount of time there and that is a costly endeavor, especially for the lesser candidates. Iowans know that their position is enviable and have played it well over the years.

But, hey, who can really fault a state for wanting to spur local economies? Let’s face it, the serious presidential candidates all set up operations well in advance of the caucuses and that means filling up generally vacant hotel and motel rooms all around the state. Naturally, these hordes of political pollsters and operatives must eat and, well, I am sure Iowa is more than happy to stuff them all with their world famous pork sandwiches. Seriously though, it takes some serious cash to set up a proper political operation and that is where Iowa benefits most. Political campaigns seem to spend more in Iowa than the other early battleground states.

As for Iowa actually clearing up the national debate on which Republican Presidential Candidate may be worthy to lead their party ticket – well, now that is an altogether different story. As I said earlier, Iowa’s choice since they began this goofy endeavor stands at a not so impressive 50% and given the current field of candidates, well it becomes even more likely that this go around won’t do much for their average. Still, Iowa has been able to fare much better than many other states during bad times and I suppose that getting our lost in a lost world politicians to believe that Iowa voters somehow merit more attention and then having them drop a ton of money ahead of the other important primaries is nothing short of a master stroke.

I don’t know, maybe Iowa has the right formula and it really doesn’t matter who the hell winds up being president for them so long as they can be the one’s to ignite the process every four years. As for the GOP – whether or not there will be any substantial culling of the field after Tuesday’s Caucus Extravaganza will be anyone’s guess. Exactly what sway an Iowa opinion has over the rest of the nation has long been debated, but my guess is that Americans shouldn’t really put too much stock into what happens there tomorrow.

Hopefully the serious candidates haven’t put all their eggs into the Iowa basket and are sufficiently prepared for the first three major primaries and/or caucuses to gauge whether or not they are to be considered viable candidates. If, however, they didn’t – well, then they have seriously miscalculated and Iowa could become their Waterloo. Personally, I am sure that there will be at least one or two who will need to reevaluate their presidential ambitions after tomorrow because, like so many candidates before them, they will find out that they too have put in way too much energy and resources into Iowa than they should have.

In the meantime, though, Iowa will come out a winner tomorrow.

You see they really have figured out that their Caucuses feed the pigs.


Follow maciric on Twitter


Leave a comment
  • The economics reason probably is the real one. Obviously, Illinois missed the boat here again, if that's the criterion.

    However, what I question is Fla moving up and then everyone before them having to move up, starting this mess as of today. There may be a point that the small states first allows retail politicking, and the later states have less of a choice if someone runs out of money in 3 weeks, but I still think that a national primary, maybe split over 4 sessions could work.

  • In reply to jack:

    I like the idea of a national primary Jack, although I am not sure if splitting it over four sessions would eliminate the jockeying you alluded to. There will always be a state(s) that will want to kick-off first and reap the benefits of either being heard or the local economies benefiting from the influx.

    Hey, give Iowa credit - they have figured out a way to not only profit mightily, but they keep their reputation as being one of the most politically engaged. Definitely a win-win for them.

    And yes - Illinois misses the boat, but then again the longer they stay out of the national debate the more they can manipulate the people of Illinois and pick their pockets.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    As for the national primary, the feds could require it, since it involves an election for federal office. We don't have general elections for President and Congress starting in late August.

    However, I doubt that there is the willpower to do it, for reasons essentially stated in my "there may still be a point" sentence.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think you are right on that last point.

Leave a comment