Sick of hearing about Iowa and NH?

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  • #101159
    amykamyk
    Participant

    Hey, I just wonder if all you people out there in non-Iowa, non-NH places are sick to death of hearing about the first caucus and primary yet. Seems to me there’s more coverage than I’ve ever heard before on the subject. On NPR this afternoon they were actually explaining how Iowa caucuses work.

    I’ve never been a great fan of our caucuses (I’m in Iowa) because they dissuade so many people from voting. I mean there’s nothing reasonable about having to be locked in a room full of political activist loonies for three hours just so you can vote. And I’ve long thought Iowa’s a silly place to cast as “normal”, since it isn’t. Something like 98% white, disproportionately old and rural.

    Otoh, this year I’m starting to see a valid reason why IA should keep the “first” status. People actually take this election stuff seriously, more seriously than in anyplace else I’ve lived. They take months deliberating, and are generally quite moderate in outlook. What you see on C-SPAN is pretty average fare. These poor candidate schmoes actually have to drag around to every nook and cranny of the state and answer everyone’s questions one-on-one. (This year, John Kerry, Robert Reich, and Dick Gephardt tolerated my questions.) They do it fairly seriously, and the people asking the questions are frequently well-informed. Often people will go to multiple events for a candidate and talk to the candidate three or four times. The people you see in those meeting rooms aren’t even necessarily going to the caucuses, either. So I suppose you could give the state points for doing other states’ homework, as it were.

    NH voters seem just as diligent, btw. I must say though that I like the caucus rule where a candidate must get 15% of the votes to get delegates. Makes losers’ supporters behave realistically and choose from among the more probable winners.

    amy

    #101161
    MTaylorMTaylor
    Participant

    In general, I think that a caucus primary is a good idea. It’s true, you may dissuade some people from voting…but those are not necessarily the people you want determining our (Democratic) next candidate anyway – as they are probably not very active, therefore not well informed. Living here in California – where the Terminator can become governor – without *really* having an opinion about most of our issues…a caucus would be useful. You want (especially for the primary) a viable candidate, not some loser who people see on TV…or who talks good game but knows nothing about the issues. People who are not well informed hurt us more than their vote helps us – especially in the primary.

    #101162
    amykamyk
    Participant

    Whoa. Good point — I hadn’t thought of it that way.

    amy

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