Read the Bills Act Coalition

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Press Still doesn’t understand Caucuses, Conservatives or Iowa

In an article about the upcoming Iowa Caucus, “Many Iowa Conservatives Still Undecided” The reported goes through the typical story about how Huckabee hasn’t closed the deal, Romney is outspending everyone but slipping and Thompson is under-performing to come to the conclusion that Conservatives are undecided on who to vote for. This article fails to take into account the Caucus structure, the diversity of Conservatives and Iowans in general. First, the caucus, unlike a primary or general election, is a “gathering” where the candidates “proxies” and supporters rally support from all attendees and then come up with a winner (obviously this is a very simplified explanation) for each precinct. The Caucus mechanism does not lend itself to being predicted by polling, as a primary or general election does, because participants can be swayed during the caucus process thus invalidating the answers they would have given a pollster prior to entering. Also, the article depicts “conservatives” as social or religious conservatives and fails to point out fiscal conservative, libertarians, neoconservatesism or paleoconservates etc. and that even religious conservative tend to vote for the candidate with the best agenda and not solely on the religious conviction. Finally, the people in the state of Iowa are misunderstood in most of the press coverage; Iowans both take the responsibility of being the first Presidential test and couple it with the fear that if they screw it up they will be superseded by another state and loose this privilege forever to make their decision. This dichotomy of conflicting feelings lends the state to be very deliberate (giveing all candidates their say and day in the sun) in its choices and lends itself to a fluctuation in polling number between the frontrunners as Caucus day looms closer. The polling numbers tend to show that Iowans have a grasp on the national scene as well as the needs of the state leading up to the caucus and this will cause both the frontrunner and dark horses to spike/descend depending on who is polled and at what time the poll takes place. In the end, the Iowa Caucuses tends to deliver a winner that has a viable chance of winning the National nomination (usually the front-runner at the time of the Caucus) for each party and the runner up title(or third) to the dark horses. This outcome usually has the Caucus aligning with the nation parties/other states and not being the exception which could invalidate the state as an important yardstick in the election cycle. Having participated in several Iowa Caucuses, it is imperative to all that participate that the two choices coming out of Iowa (one DEM, one REP) be able to when the nomination and Presidency to show that Iowans know what they are doing and should always be first in the nation….the pressure is always there not to pick an outsider that has no choice thus validating other states position that they know better and should be first

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