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Does Iowa matter?

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Jeff Greenwald, Politico: How Iowa Hijacked Our Democracy

    "The first symbolic hurdle of the presidential campaign is anti-democratic, meaningless, even harmful."

    I saw the Greenwald's article in the DHub News and Opinions and clicked on it. It supports much of my thinking that Iowa has been elevated to some exalted status, a media circus if you like, for being the first state to select presidential candidates. It is not a primary state, and the caucus process limits participation to just a few of a hardy bunch of faithful voters. Taking 2008, for example, an election year when there was lots of excitement in both parties, but low participation:

    “In percentage terms, Iowa’s turnout was hardly earthshaking—only 1 in 6 of the eligible adults participated. The Democratic winner, Barack Obama, received the votes of just 4 percent of Iowa’s eligible voters. Mike Huckabee, the Republican victor, attracted the support of a mere 2 percent of Iowa adults,”

    Every four years there is a media frenzy around Iowa, but for what...just 2 to 4 percent of the eligible voters at best? And who are those voters? Iowa is "94 percent white, 2.8 percent black and 5.5 percent Hispanic, making it one of the five whitest states in the nation. It’s also the fourth oldest state in the union." Furthermore, "some 57 percent of GOP caucus-goers consider themselves “evangelicals.”

    When the results of the Iowa caucus become known, we should keep those statistics in mind...but if you are a Republican don't count your chickens until they are hatched. From Wikipedia, in 2012, "Initial results reported that Mitt Romney beat out Rick Santorum by just 8 votes, but when the final results came out two weeks later Rick Santorum secured the victory over Romney by a margin of 34 votes with Ron Paul in a strong 3rd. Results were certified by the Caucus but not by the Republican party who declared it a split decision due to missing reports from 8 precincts, but who later certified the caucus as a win for Santorum. The caucus winner changed yet again when the Iowa delegate totals were finally determined giving Ron Paul the win along with several other states that same weekend."

    Maybe you should read that paragraph again to make sure you are not in some daze. This isn't a 3rd world country. This is Iowa. The craziness of the 2012 ballots and ever changing victors tell me that when the Republican results are announced don't believe them. There is lots of manipulation that still has to be done with those secret ballots.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Jeff Greenwald, Politico: How Iowa Hijacked Our Democracy

    "The first symbolic hurdle of the presidential campaign is anti-democratic, meaningless, even harmful."

    I saw the Greenwald's article in the DHub News and Opinions and clicked on it. It supports much of my thinking that Iowa has been elevated to some exalted status, a media circus if you like, for being the first state to select presidential candidates. It is not a primary state, and the caucus process limits participation to just a few of a hardy bunch of faithful voters. Taking 2008, for example, an election year when there was lots of excitement in both parties, but low participation:

    “In percentage terms, Iowa’s turnout was hardly earthshaking—only 1 in 6 of the eligible adults participated. The Democratic winner, Barack Obama, received the votes of just 4 percent of Iowa’s eligible voters. Mike Huckabee, the Republican victor, attracted the support of a mere 2 percent of Iowa adults,”

    Every four years there is a media frenzy around Iowa, but for what...just 2 to 4 percent of the eligible voters at best? And who are those voters? Iowa is "94 percent white, 2.8 percent black and 5.5 percent Hispanic, making it one of the five whitest states in the nation. It’s also the fourth oldest state in the union." Furthermore, "some 57 percent of GOP caucus-goers consider themselves “evangelicals.”

    When the results of the Iowa caucus become known, we should keep those statistics in mind...but if you are a Republican don't count your chickens until they are hatched. From Wikipedia, in 2012, "Initial results reported that Mitt Romney beat out Rick Santorum by just 8 votes, but when the final results came out two weeks later Rick Santorum secured the victory over Romney by a margin of 34 votes with Ron Paul in a strong 3rd. Results were certified by the Caucus but not by the Republican party who declared it a split decision due to missing reports from 8 precincts, but who later certified the caucus as a win for Santorum. The caucus winner changed yet again when the Iowa delegate totals were finally determined giving Ron Paul the win along with several other states that same weekend."

    Maybe you should read that paragraph again to make sure you are not in some daze. This isn't a 3rd world country. This is Iowa. The craziness of the 2012 ballots and ever changing victors tell me that when the Republican results are announced don't believe them. There is lots of manipulation that still has to be done with those secret ballots.

    Schmidt, you stated:........ this is not a 3rd world country......; I'm not quite sure it is n't. Just because of all the evangelicals and white-ties , it does not mean civilization has been adopted there. Rednecks galore. Clown car country.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    The fact that Iowa has this position of power frustrates me to no end. I also don't like the fact that New Hampshire gets to go second. The combined population of these two states is right around 4.5 million. Twice as many people live in New York City.

    I think diverse states like California, Florida, and New York should have a much bigger say in the nominating process. California has 12.8 percent of the total population in America, but doesn't vote in a primary until June 7. Florida doesn't have their primary until March 15th. In fact, we have to wait until March 1st before any of the ten most populous states get to have their say (Texas and Georgia).

    I understand that small states should get to have their say in our democracy, but it leaves a sour taste in my mouth at the over sized role they have in selecting the leader of over 300 million people.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    The fact that Iowa has this position of power frustrates me to no end. I also don't like the fact that New Hampshire gets to go second. The combined population of these two states is right around 4.5 million. Twice as many people live in New York City.

    I think diverse states like California, Florida, and New York should have a much bigger say in the nominating process. California has 12.8 percent of the total population in America, but doesn't vote in a primary until June 7. Florida doesn't have their primary until March 15th. In fact, we have to wait until March 1st before any of the ten most populous states get to have their say (Texas and Georgia).

    I understand that small states should get to have their say in our democracy, but it leaves a sour taste in my mouth at the over sized role they have in selecting the leader of over 300 million people.

    Jared, don't get frustrated!! I told you many times" common sense" is a lost word here; why do it the logical way if you can do it the hard way; that is how works here. "Brainless", that is another word they neither understand.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I suppose we should keep in mind that it is largely the media (MSNBC especially) that has elevated Iowa to its status with its endless coverage of both Iowa and New Hampshire, but mostly Iowa right now. At least New Hampshire is a primary state, but Iowa is a caucus state, and if only 4 percent of the voters turn out at 7:00 pm on a cold January night, then how can the results possibly be reflective of the nation?

    And in any case, the Iowa Republicans bungled the 2012 caucus so badly, they became the laughing stock of the election cycle. The one time they were in the spotlight of the whole nation, they blew it. I still do not understand how Ron Paul won Iowa some 4 and a half months after the Iowa caucus.

    Business Insider, June 16, 2012: Ron Paul Just Won The Iowa Caucuses

    "Ron Paul won the majority of national convention delegates in Iowa this weekend, ending a Republican Party drama that has been unfolding since January.

    "The Paul campaign announced tonight that the Texas Congressman won 21 of the state's 25 unbound delegates at Iowa's state and district conventions this weekend, despite a concerted effort by the state party establishment and Mitt Romney supporters to purge the national delegate list of Ron Paul backers."

    On election night we were told that Mitt Romney had won. Then the Republicans changed their minds two weeks later and said Rick Santorum won. Then later they said it was a split decision. Then months later it became official: surprise, Ron Paul won.

    It would seem to me that whatever the intent of the caucus goers, their vote doesn't matter. Whoever they vote for doesn't mean diddly. All the delegates are uncommitted and can pretty well do as they please. So why all the hype?

    "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”-- William Shakespeare, Macbeth

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt; again I state that everything related to government issues is backwards, including elections. For instance, we had to renew my wife's "green card". To our surprise it takes close to a year to get that done.We talked to an "officer" about it and asked him "why the inefficiency"? ; my passport took about a month; so I suggested to separate "new comers" from people who already have such card and only need to renew. No, he said we throw everything on a big heap and have the same process for everyone. That is how it works here: no brains. The same with elections and other things.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch -- I was surprised that Green Cards expire, but in checking I note that the law changed in 1989. Now they expire after 10 years. I also read this at the US Immigration website.

    "You may apply for renewal of your Green Card up to six months before the expiration date on the Green Card. However, there is no need to rush for a new card too far in advance since you will immediately be issued temporary proof of your status at your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. A temporary stamp will be placed in your passport or if you do not have a passport a temporary document with photograph will be issued. Temporary proof of status will be valid for one year, and you should receive your new Green Card in 10-12 months. You should only need to visit the USCIS office once if your application is complete and correct."

    I suppose like everything else, the Immigration service is understaffed and the Republican controlled Congress won't provide additional funds for staff to speed up the process.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Dutch -- I was surprised that Green Cards expire, but in checking I note that the law changed in 1989. Now they expire after 10 years. I also read this at the US Immigration website.

    "You may apply for renewal of your Green Card up to six months before the expiration date on the Green Card. However, there is no need to rush for a new card too far in advance since you will immediately be issued temporary proof of your status at your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. A temporary stamp will be placed in your passport or if you do not have a passport a temporary document with photograph will be issued. Temporary proof of status will be valid for one year, and you should receive your new Green Card in 10-12 months. You should only need to visit the USCIS office once if your application is complete and correct."

    I suppose like everything else, the Immigration service is understaffed and the Republican controlled Congress won't provide additional funds for staff to speed up the process.

    Yes Schmidt, you are correct; she won't have a problem because of the "stamp' and extension, but it shows that the government still thinks and works in the stone ages. When I had to visit the FAA in Washington, I was shocked at the mess of papers, binders in total chaos. Since I did some government contract work as well for the coastguard, each time I was surprised at the huge bureaucratic way of doing things. Nothing was straight forward or simple or made common sense.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Moyers and Company, January 31, 2016: The Idiocy of the Iowa Caucuses

    Some extracts from the above article:

    "What a dangerous distraction the Iowa spectacle has been from the dysfunction and unfairness of democracy as we now know it. No, worse, what a cynical celebration of it. Pitifully few Americans vote, and shockingly few of them are young or poor or people of color, yet we give wildly disproportionate influence to the white rural voters of one small state whose priorities, like subsidies for corn-based ethanol, are nationally marginal, and whose disposable time for caucus-going is unimaginable to parents working multiple shifts at multiple jobs.

    "At the same time, what a bonanza it’s been for the state’s TV and radio stations, which have raked in tens of millions of dollars in attack ads, and what a bordello it’s been for the billionaires and special interests who’ve anonymously funded those air wars.

    "What a misbegotten surrogate for civic seriousness this interminable campaign has become, with news networks getting in bed with parties to co-sponsor debates, selling national ad time for those debates at Super Bowl rates and polluting public discourse with bloviating “strategists” and accountability-free predictions."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Moyers and Company, January 31, 2016: The Idiocy of the Iowa Caucuses

    Some extracts from the above article:

    "What a dangerous distraction the Iowa spectacle has been from the dysfunction and unfairness of democracy as we now know it. No, worse, what a cynical celebration of it. Pitifully few Americans vote, and shockingly few of them are young or poor or people of color, yet we give wildly disproportionate influence to the white rural voters of one small state whose priorities, like subsidies for corn-based ethanol, are nationally marginal, and whose disposable time for caucus-going is unimaginable to parents working multiple shifts at multiple jobs.

    "At the same time, what a bonanza it’s been for the state’s TV and radio stations, which have raked in tens of millions of dollars in attack ads, and what a bordello it’s been for the billionaires and special interests who’ve anonymously funded those air wars.

    "What a misbegotten surrogate for civic seriousness this interminable campaign has become, with news networks getting in bed with parties to co-sponsor debates, selling national ad time for those debates at Super Bowl rates and polluting public discourse with bloviating “strategists” and accountability-free predictions."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree.

    Yes Schmidt as always; you've got the picture; it is as always how can they make money of it, while it is all total B.S.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Does Iowa really matter ? Yes for about 3 weeks every fourth year. Remember the last time something serious was being addressed and anybody said I wonder what would be best for or in Iowa ? Never happened and never will. They are a blip on the radar screen and after their election you won't hear about them again. The next state is the important state. NH is not important either after they finish their election you won't hear a thing about them except it's a beautiful place, we should vacation there some time. Important states are the ones that deliver a lot of delegates and swing states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania.... It's all a big game that costs us all a fortune.
  • Independent
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    it matters to iowans, i guess. in the political process? since this country is enthralled by bright shiny objects and 24 hr infotainment passing as news it matters somewhat. for about 3 weeks. and then it doesn't. frothy didn't go anywhere nor did the chaplain-in-chief wannabe huckabee when they won iowa but it makes for "good" (read: pushing the needle) tv.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    No Iowa does not matter; you may as well have a turned to dust Jesus do that job, because the "evangelicals" run the show as proven. Cruz can now kiss his smelly fungus bible.

    However I guess these people did not hear Trump say, that he was and is an Canadian.

    Anyway Bernie is doing better than Trump

    Up to the next part of the circus.