May I just say I have a new theory about Iowa?

Over at Vox, Andrew Prokop has a theory about why the Iowa caucuses matter:

Every winner of a competitive major party presidential nomination contest since 1980 except one started off by winning the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, or both.

Which would be a great point if you wanted to argue that to eventually win the nomination you have to win one of the first two states. Except that this isn’t what is being argued. Looking at the Vox table, 7 of the 13 nominees won in Iowa.?Indeed, starting off like this pretty much gives the game away:

Like it or not, the Iowa results appear to be hugely important in determining who the major parties’ presidential nominees will be — particularly [!] when considered alongside the impact of fellow early state New Hampshire.?

Getting to first base is hugely important in determining whether you will score — particularly when considered alongside the impact of getting to second base.

For extra entertainment, the article is also full of quotes along the lines of “but only?x number of people will vote?so who cares?”:

“What is the difference between first place and third place in Iowa going to be,?4,000 votes? It’s like a student body election,” says Stuart Stevens, who was Mitt Romney’s chief strategist in 2012.

In the past I have been very unkind* to this type of reasoning. But really: Unless you have a convincing case to make that the people who did vote are not representative of the overall electorate, what’s with the obsession with size??Why not just go all in and?remark: “What was?the difference between first and second place in Florida in 1992, 537 votes? It’s like a Manhattan co-op board election.”

Throwing out the 4,000 number out there also does a good job of distracting from the fact that 120,000 voted in the 2012 Republican caucus there.?This isn’t a large number (unless you were attacked by a group of dogs holding a total of 120,000 bees in their mouths, in which case: run away) — but let’s look at the 10?states that vote after Iowa: New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Maine, Arizona, and Wyoming. Half of them don’t even come close to matching Iowa’s total number of votes Colorado came?closest with 66,027 in 2012).

If you want to argue that the Iowa results “appear [!] to be hugely important in determining who the major parties’ presidential nominees will be,” it would make sense to produce such evidence before moving on to asking me this question 3:?

But?why, exactly, does this small-time contest affect the larger race so much?

Personally, I don’t think war is unforeseeable.

* Meaning I have been a total asshole.

 

Comments: 17

 
 
 

Welcome back!!

So from a population of 3.1 million, 120,000 Republicans caucused? If they don’t give enough of a shit to show, why should any attention be paid them?

 
The Dark God of Time
 

Welcome back. Now the circle is complete.

 
 

Seb!?

Yes. I think just about everyone else is too traumatized to leave comments. Either that or everyone else is long gone.

 
 

Welcome back! We missed you! Me especially since I have learned that blogging regularly is hard. And I have found that direct exposure to wingnut stupidity makes my eyes break out.

 
 

Yes. I think just about everyone else is too traumatized to leave comments. Either that or everyone else is long gone.

They’re not gone, they’re just all hanging out with a bunch of lawyers at LGM and other various haunts.

 
 

Iowa is thinner at the top, thicker in the middle, and thinner again at the bottom.

 
 

Well, by “gone” I didn’t mean everyone had died. Just that they weren’t “here” anymore.

 
 

Obviously, winning Iowa is the cause of winning the nomination. That and New Hampster. See, the popularity of a candidate across the rest of the country’s voters has nothing to do with the candidate him(her)self nor with their campaign. Whether they win the nomination is due solely to how they perform in those two states.

 
 

Only back to say Hi, Seb ! (fanning myself vigorously) I missed you.
I try not to discuss US politix because :
A) too boring – two years of this shit?
ii) I already know what everybody is going to say
3) too ridiculous for words
iv) I seem to hang out on only leftish US blogs – why do I do this to myself?? I like the company, I guess.
Wanna talk about the campaign to get rid of Pres Zuma ?

 
 

Thanks for the hello/welcome. I shall be doing my best to keep you company more often.

 
 

Suezboo, this might be of interest. Or you may know it all already.

 
 

Suezboo, this might be of interest.

Or you may know it all already.

 
 

Thanks, M. I did know about the history, if that’s what you mean. I was there, remember ?
In fact (But this must remain between us) two of my housemates were arrested and jailed for setting off “pamphlet bombs”. They were members of ARM – Armed Resistance Movement which was the white militant movement. I was way down on the chores hierarchy – messages etc.

 
 

But Zuma Must Go ! He is evil and incompetent – simultaneously.

 
 

So, the Iowa caucus ain’t that important, unless clinton beats sanders, in which case it’s hugely so.

 
 

Good to see you back sir, and well put,as well. Been a bit outta commission for a bit and slowly returning. To semblance of normalcy, insofar as monkeyshines are planned etc and suchlike will be documented, or at the very least, alluded to.

Nice to see you back, seb, and looking forward to contributing my share again.

 
 

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