Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More on the Iowa Caucuses

Following the 5.15 Des Moines Register op-ed piece by Fergus Cullen of New Hampshire (linked in prior post), Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) has done what one would expect the governor to do - defend his state. In a 5.17 DMR story, Branstad says he's never seen any Iowans in tinfoil hats, and that his primary election last year demonstrates that Iowa is a "full spectrum state."

I think the Governor is wrong to draw any broad conclusions from last year's primary and general election (for reasons listed in the previous post). I also think the Register's Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich is likewise wrong to dismiss this criticism as "rehashed." Yes, every four years we hear that Iowa does not adequately represent America demographically. She is also likely right that in the political events she covers she has never heard anyone bring up the President's birth certificate. But Public Policy Polling is very credible; if they say that "nearly half" of Iowa Republicans are "birthers," then I tend to believe them.

The Governor is right in not wanting candidates to write off Iowa; on that he and I agree. But to argue that Iowa Republicans are "full spectrum" is to ignore facts.

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