Posted by Julie Ponzi
. . . but it took John Podhoretz to say it--and say it so well. What’s the big whoop about Iowa and Ames anyway?
It's just part of the game. But it's a game that is rapidly evolving into something else. We won't see a straw poll in 2012 ... or, we won't see any of the leading candidates participating in it.
What's the logical conclusion to this compression of the primary season? An enormous "Super Tuesday" primary where, presumably, all the states run their primaries on the same date means what? It seems it would simply generate two general elections.
Has the 2012 campaign started yet? :-)
I think the GOP needs to leave Iowa and New Hampshire behind.
We need a new state for the candidates to early battle for, and I suggest Colorado, West Virginia or Missouri. But Iowa politicos need to be told to "get over it."
No, Don, the 2012 election will not start until shortly after the 2008 election. On consideration, that might not be true unless a Republican wins. If a Democrat wins, we will get a rest for a bit.
As to the Ames Straw Poll, why not just make direct payments to voters in the poll? You would get more participants that way, and not have to bus people in, as the locals would line up. Each voter might demand less money per capita so the process would be cheaper while being just as meaningful in political terms.
What's the big whoop? Well, there have been two posts about it today on NLT, so like it or not, someone must have assumed, rightly, that there would be interest. We are interested because other people are interested. Ames also tells us who is the best organized in Iowa, since the person best positioned to win the poll will not pull out of it. The degree of organization Romney has put together doesn't happen without a candidate who has 1) significant attraction for Iowa's local GOP activists and high-propensity voters; and 2) a well-managed and energetic campaign. Money alone doesn't do it for Romney, nor does the boycott by Rudy and the as-yet-noncandidacy of Fred. Ames also provides tangible evidence that abortion is a very big deal to many Iowa Republicans (there is no other rational reason on earth to vote for Brownback, as so many did), and that immigration is a very bid deal to many Iowa Republicans (otherwise Tancredo, who has an organizationally lame campaign, would not have shown well).
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