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Iowa's straw poll doesn't deserve mega attention

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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-14-11 03:08 AM
Original message
Iowa's straw poll doesn't deserve mega attention
As posted in USA Today:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2011-08...

Start with the fact that the vote has a poor track record of predicting eventual winners. Only twice, out of five previous Iowa straw polls, has the winner gone on to capture the GOP nomination. And only once has the straw poll winner (George W. Bush in 1999) become president.

Perhaps the biggest reason to be wary of this event is its potential to highlight the more extreme candidates. Participants in the straw poll pay $30 and often travel for hours to listen to speeches and hobnob with like-minded souls. This is a genuinely small sliver of humanity. Four years ago, just 14,302 Iowans voted in the straw poll, compared with 682,379 who voted for John McCain in the 2008 general election. And, without some mainstream candidate pouring money into the event to bring out the vote, the straw poll participants tend to be true believers who are not much interested in consensus-building candidates.

And yet the Iowa Republican Party has devised an event that seems almost perfectly suited to showcasing their doctrinaire views. Is that good for the GOP? Or for the USA?


And in the end, what have we learned, Ron Paul is still 1/2 (the wrong half) fruitloops, and Bachmann can handle a footlong corndog.

Th real winners today were Pawlenty, who dumped a cool million on Iowa, and needed to show in the top three (He did) and Perry, who wasn't on the ballot, and still beat Mit Romney. I love Iowa, because the nature of the straw poll nearly ensures that the least viable candidates get the greatest degree of early attention. And that's PERFECT for Dems.
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