Sunday, August 12, 2007

Straw Men And Straw Polls

The Iowa Straw Poll is now behind us and Mitt Romney has won. 31.5% of 14,000 votes cast. 4400 votes. This is supposedly an indicator of strength in Presidential politics! Some indicator!

I, for one, have l-o-n-g resented Iowa's and New Hampshire 's clout in election politics for reason of tradition. Neither state mirrors the concerns of the country as a whole. Not counting those waiting in the wings, there are a total of 17 declared candidates. Out of a U.S. population of approximately 302,587,000 this is the best that we can do? Perhaps so. This is what it has boiled down to. Forget that many of the candidates did not participate. It will be spun by the Romney machine as a significant victory for as long as they can make it last. I, however, would prefer the front runner in one of the two major parties to be decided by more than 4400 votes in one state!

The winner would appear to be a man who "evolved" into the opposite of himself from his time as Governor of Massachusetts. And a man who feels his sons' campaign swing through Iowa is their way of serving their country. Okay. To each his own. At this point I do not think I want this man for my President. Expediency for the sake of election scares me. So do lame rationales. It has nothing to do with his religion.

Back to the Iowa/New Hampshire issue. We can put aside the fact the straw poll is bought and paid for by the campaigns. Let's look at the caucuses and primaries. Iowa has approximately 1,674,000 registered voters and New Hampshire 716,000 out of a total in the U.S. of 142,072,000. If they all voted that would be 2,390,000 voters determining candidates for 302 million people. These events are held during the winter. Weather is often bad and turn out matches. That means even fewer voters are making the decisions deemed so sacrosanct.

Now other states are moving their caucuses and primaries ahead to create some balance and to be part of the determining factor. A plus would be getting rid of many who have no realistic chance. A negative is we would lose much valuable debate between the first tier candidates and far too many months of meaningless, programmed rhetoric blaring at us 24/7.

I guess I'm going to have to make some lifestyle changes!

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

It is a joke... like children running to be in line first.. with the state running faster to be first. Then you have some of the states wanting only their own party voting... the whole thing is a joke, and I am not laughing.