Politics

3

Written on Thursday, January 03, 2008 by Jessica

I'm a bit of a political junkie, but I hate conflict, so I never mention politics on my blog. I don't want to start any debates. Having said that, I just can't help complaining about Iowa and New Hampshire's favored status. Why do they always get to be first?

While listening to "All Things Considered" tonight on my way home from work, one of the reporters was talking about how generally well-informed Iowa voters are, and talked about one woman who'd made a point of going to see all the candidates speak.

Well, gee, isn't is nice that she had the opportunity to do that? The candidates spend days campaigning in Iowa. John Edwards visited every county twice. Of course she went to see all the candidates. Hell, the candidates came to her doorstep.

If a presidential candidate ventures into my state, Michigan, you can bet s/he is hours away from where I live. S/he'll stop in Detroit, or maybe someplace like Grand Rapids, and then head out to someplace else. If a candidate came anywhere near my county, you'd bet I'd go see him or her speak.

One time, Dan Quayle came to my hometown. Hoo-ray.

It just doesn't seem like a particularly equitable system when two small states get so much attention. How about a little diversity? Would that be such a bad thing?

Maybe I should just move to Iowa. I wonder if they say "pop" there, or if it's called "soda."

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3 Comments

  1. Sherri |

    I've heard them call Iowa the 'swing vote'. My guess is, Iowa has a large number of votes in the electoral college so every candidate thinks that, if they win Iowa's favor, they would be able to swing that vote just with the one state.

    Then again, I don't know a whole lot about politics, so I could be completely wrong.

     
  2. Jessica |

    Iowa has a large percentage of self-identified independents (about 40%), which is why they're considered a swing vote. Therefore, when you compare that state to the rest of the country, this is actually yet another way that Iowa does not provide a good representation of the nation as a whole. Nationally, only about a third of Americans identify themselves as independents.

    As for the electoral college, Iowa has only seven electoral votes, which is why larger states such a California and Florida (55 and 25 votes respectively) feel like they're missing out when Iowa and New Hampshire (seven and four electoral votes respective) have such a heavy influence on the primaries and caucuses.

    Don't get me wrong: I can certainly see why it's beneficial to candidates to be able to focus all their energies on a one or two states, especially smaller ones, which allows them to gather momentum. It just seem like we should rotate the "first in nation" status so that Iowa and New Hampshire's influence isn't entirely out of proportion of their actual importance.

     
  3. Christina |

    I wish I had the time but then again all of them would really irk me after a while. The traffic jams, the secret service the news reporters.

    When I worked in NYC I hated when the president(s) came to town commuting was horrible!

     

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