Why Iowa Needs to Be First

Iowa should not pick the next president. I don't think my opinion should matter more than those in other states. However, I do think Iowa and New Hampshire should go first because they are small states that are won on the ground with retail politics. If Iowa and New Hampshire weren't first, then Joe Biden and Chris Dodd would not be in the race and maybe even Bill Richardson and campaigns would be won with TV ads, large donor fundraisers, and even more mud throwing.

You don't need a ton of money to do well in Iowa, just look at Mike Huckabee's performace at the Ames Straw Poll. Huckabee had less than half a million dollars on hand at the end of the July. In some states, one TV ad costs more money than Huckabee has. Huckabee is still able to gain traction in the race because Iowa is first.

I see Iowa's job to narrow the field down. Let everyone and their brother/sister/mailman campaign in Iowa. We will attend the events at the coffee shops and in the city parks and ask the tough questions. Those that can't make it through this game of retail politics and meet the people face to face will drop out and those that can, will move on to the other states.

What needs to happen is to spread the nominating calendar out. Back in '68 things didn't get heated up until May and June. Now we will have this thing decided by early February. Whomever comes out on top will then get pummeled by the Republican Noise machine for 6 months before the convention. That is not good the democratic process or for the Democratic Party.

Tags: Caucuses

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  • I agree

    with your assessment of Richardson, Dodd and Biden and the impact I has on their races.  Even Edwards would be in serious trouble without Iowa first.  The race would all be about whom could raise the most money – even more so than it is today.

    • I have been saying this

      on some of the national blogs for months. People think Biden is a joke because bloggers don’t like him. He could end up being viable in a lot of precincts. I said right after Vilsack dropped out that I thought there was an opening for Richardson in Iowa, and people laughed at me.

      Iowans do look at all the options and don’t let fundraising numbers and national media tell them who to take seriously.

      That is the best thing I can say about the Iowa caucuses.

      As I have written in the past, I am not a big fan of the caucus system as compared to primaries. But Iowans take the race seriously.