04 Jan 2008

Iowa, Yawn!

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Iowa, in my view, is the ultimate dreadful flat Midwestern fly-over state with a name beginning with a vowel. Beyond producing lots of corn, Iowa’s only apparent raison d’etre seems to me to consist of making crossing Indiana seem not so bad.

The MSM is agog over Huckabee and Obama’s triumph. Some serious chin-stroking is underway this morning as the punditocracy unlimbers its powers of divination and starts explaining what it all means.

But Michael Judge was probably right yesterday, when he suggested in the Wall Street Journal that we all just Ignore Iowa.

in 2004 just 6% of the state’s eligible voters attended a caucus, according to a study by Prof. Michael McDonald of George Mason University. Many Iowans say that number is deceptively low, because President Bush ran unopposed and most Republicans stayed home. With a big turnout year as 2008 is expected to be, caucus organizers still will be lucky to get one in five voters to make the effort. …

You’ll have to forgive us Iowans; we’ve been bombarded by innumerable pamphlets, polls, phone calls, television ads, text messages, etc. And our borders have been compromised by a press corps that’s pounced on every story, however mundane, as if it were a talking pig. (Go to CNN.com to see streaming video of the elderly Iowa woman who carved a bust of Obama from 23 pounds of butter.)

Is all this hoopla really justified? In 1988, then New Hampshire governor John Sununu famously said, “The people of Iowa pick corn, the people of New Hampshire pick presidents.” He was right, at least about Iowans not picking presidents. The winner of the Iowa Caucus, incumbents excluded, has never — well, almost never — won the presidency (Jimmy Carter being the exception to the rule).

One Feedback on "Iowa, Yawn!"

Kent Carlson

Michael Judge may have the right theory, but his facts are wrong. The only candidate the Iowa Caucuses ever picked that actually went on that election cycle to win (who wasn’t an incumbent) is GW in 2000.

A more accurate take is at: http://www.dmcityview.com/guest.shtml


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