The fight is on, and the top three contenders are (drum roll please!!!!):
It’s 10:15 PST, and Santorum and Romney each have 25% of the vote, separated by only 34 votes. Ninety-nine percent of the votes are in – they’re just waiting for a truckload of votes to be delivered. Those votes are coming from
Gary, Indiana Keokuk and Clinton counties. Nail biting time! Oh, the drama! It’s just like a football game! (well, I don’t actually watch football, but it sounded right!)
Update: the news is now saying those votes aren’t really coming by truck – they just don’t know where they are or when they’ll show up! Megan Kelly was told by an Iowan official that they’ll let her know, “if and when they FIND them”!!!!!!
According to a Rockford (IL – about 90 miles from Iowa) newspaper blogger, 95% of Iowa adults will shun the caucuses. Some of his other comments:
–The population of Iowa amounts to barely one percent of the national total. That’s only one-fifth of the average population of the 49 other states. (snip)
–Only three to five percent of the adult population of Iowa will bother to venture out in the January cold next Tuesday night to participate in the GOP caucuses.
–An untold portion of these caucusgoers — perhaps as many as 20 percent of them — will not be traditional Republican voters. Some will be independents or erstwhile Democrats who have been attracted to the process for one reason or another, some just to support the maverick candidacy of Ron Paul.
And yet, when the caucus results are tallied, pundits across the land will tell us the true meaning of it all. They’ll tell us that the collective decisions of 0.05 percent — one twentieth of one percent — of the American populace are potentially important in the race for the presidential nomination of one our two major political parties. (snip)
When we talk about political corruption in this country, it behooves us to recognize that some of it is perfectly legal and above-board. Putting it another way, the Iowa caucuses are a blatant corruption of the system — and the media have made them so.
Well, this journalist wasn’t referring to Iowa caucuses as being “corrupt” in the sense we here have come to associate caucuses and corruption. Rather, he’s addressing many people’s upset that Iowa gets to go first in the voting. I myself don’t really care so much about that – sure, Iowa is pretty white, but so is the nation mostly white. And on the other side of the coin, there are certainly plenty of states that wouldn’t represent the nation because they’re too highly populated by minorities or non-English speaking people. For example, should the presidential elections start in D.C., which has 50.7% black population, compared to the national average of 12.6%? Or Georgia, which has 30.5%? Or what about starting in Arizona, which has a 29.6% population of hispanics (remember, hispanic is an ethnicity – for some reason the only ethnicity ever counted – so the race of the hispanics is mostly white, some black) compared to the national average of 16.3? Or Texas, which has a 37.6% of hispanics? And the national average of Asians is 4.8%. Oh my goodness, where will we find a state to start with that even comes close to representative? Ok, I found Washington State has a 7.2%, but that’s over the national average.
My wonderful, well-thought-out solution if just someone would listen? Have regional elections (ie, all the northwest on one date, all the southwest on one date, all the northeast one one date, etc), and then rotate which one of those regional elections gets to be first each year. (I have a LOT of wonderful answers if only someone would make them all the law 🙂 )
Actually….. I digressed. I guess I just get tired of people being mean to Iowa lol (Maybe someone will start going to African countries to insist they need more diversity, more Asians and whites! Oh, and more of the ONE ethnicity, hispanic! ROFL!) Ooops I digressed again…. What I REALLY wanted to rant about was the TRUE “corruption” of the election system – the caucuses. Besides how vulnerable they are to corruption, even by the voters themselves, how in the world can they be considered representative of the wishes of a state?
So, the Rockford journalist was guessing that only 5% of adults would participate in the caucuses. Let’s look at some actual numbers. The population of Iowa is 3,046,355. The percentage of people under 18 years old is 23.9% – so by my withering math skills, the population of people 18 years of age and older would seem to be 2,318,276. Looking at the number of people who went to the caucuses (still missing part of the smelly Clinton votes, but some are in), a whopping 121,765 people voted (not counting Cain’s 58 (?) or Huntsman’s 72 (?) – I didn’t write them down so I didn’t use them!) Son of a gun. That Rockford journalist got it right. Five percent of Iowans went to caucuses. That means that only 5 percent of the entire state decided for everyone else. (Sure, you could say, it’s their fault for not going! But the caucus system was designed for smaller groups – friendly neighbors rationally discussing the issues and the candidates, and coming to a consensus – and wouldn’t work if everyone in the state went.)
I just think there are umpteen reasons why caucuses should become extinct. Unfortunately, I hear quite a few states are considering changing from primaries to caucuses because they’re cheaper (yeah, that’s the reason….)
It’s an important and difficult situation, these voting considerations. But at least I think I know how to make the bots happy – have the first states to vote be the ones who aren’t racist(TM) – you know, the ones that don’t require photo ID to vote….
10:45 pm PST – they’ve found the Keokuk county ballots….
10:55 pm PST – 4 votes separate them because Romney’s votes were undercounted. Still looking for the Clinton votes. There are a lot of factories in Clinton, IA. A lot of really SMELLY factories – meat rendering, paper processing, etc. Whoever has the votes probably passed out from the smell…. OR….. hmmm…. Clinton, IA is only 170 miles from Gary, Indiana…. if you catch my drift!
11:05 pm PST – speaking of smell, Karl Rove has inside information, he says that Romney will win by 14 votes based on the missing Clinton votes. Right now Santorum is up by 4.
11:33 pm PST – Iowa Republican Party Chairman – they will have the final official vote counts in two weeks, but they are declaring Romney the winner. He wins by 8 votes. They say it’s bad news for Santorum, as Romney didn’t campaign as much as he in Iowa.
So what do you think? Other than the idealistic (read: nonnexistent) reasons for caucuses, are there really any practical or reasonable reasons (“reasonable reasons” – hmmm good one, lorac!) to keep them in this day and age of rampant corruption and weak participation?
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