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JLeslie's avatar

Should Iowa be first?

Asked by JLeslie (59554points) February 6th, 2020 from iPhone

Lots of talk on TV that Iowa should not be the first state in the process of selecting a presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.

Some people are saying the state is not diverse enough, and also that it’s mostly a red state.

Does diversity matter? Iowa chose Obama (a black guy as we all know) and now it’s neck and neck with Buttigieg (the gay guy) the probable winner.

Is Iowa so white it’s naive about race issues? Is Iowa so white it can’t speak for minorities? Or, is Iowa so colorblind that they do represent America? Is America more colorblind than people want to believe?

This isn’t a Q about caucuses vs A straight primary vote, it’s just about the people of Iowa and whether they should be deciding which candidate gets that initial nudge.

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14 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

This question has been asked for at least as long as I have been a voter – 40+ years. The answer is no Iowa should not be first.

But if it meant so much to the different political parties, things would have changed in the last 40 years. So obviously no one has any inclination to change anything. Iowa is an excuse to gripe.

gorillapaws's avatar

More importantly than which state goes first, is how the Democratic party is allowed to allocate contracts to cronies in the dark for the development of the closed-source software that reports and tabulates the results. Furthermore, the counting (and validating) of the votes should be done in the open, on the record, with all candidates being allowed to send representatives to supervise the process to ensure the validity.

You have the wife of a Buttigieg campaign strategist as an executive of Shadow inc. for example. It’s entangled with the Clinton folks. Even giving them the benefit of the doubt, it still casts a pall of impropriety across the entire fiasco and leads to mistrust with the electorate.

These processes should be open, and free from conflicts of interest. We should have open-sourced voting software/hardware that all candidates are allowed to independently verify.

I’m not sure which state should go first. Iowa and New Hampshire have thus far been good predictors of success in the overall primary, although the direction of causality can’t really be established. I can certainly appreciate the logic behind the desire to pick a state with a more diverse population.

zenvelo's avatar

No, Iowa should not go first.

In my opinion, no state should go first, rather there should be a handful of states that have a simultaneous primary. Not a full on Super Tuesday, but maybe five or six different states, let the candidates campaign where they think their message will be best received.

People from Iowa, as a group, are focused on issues that are not necessarily important to most Americans, and actually prefer policies that are bad for the rest of the country.

The only reason we still have ethanol is because of the Iowa Corn Lobby. No one will make it past the Iowa caucus if they oppose ethanol production.

Demosthenes's avatar

I don’t think Iowa being white is a negative. But Democrats care about “diversity” and things being representative of the electorate at large and Iowa obviously isn’t. My problem with Iowa isn’t that it’s white it’s that its “caucus” system is ridiculous and encourages low turnout. I agree that perhaps a few states should be first simultaneously and no single state should get this much attention. Iowa won’t want to give up either practice as it’s really the only thing that puts it on the map.

ragingloli's avatar

Well, it has a really stupid name, so that is a heavy mark against it.

kritiper's avatar

What and when Iowans want something is up to the Iowans. And it’s a Republican thing as well as a Democrat thing. And Iowa doesn’t have that many delegates to offer, so it doesn’t make much of a difference.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper I don’t think it’s as big of an issue for the Republicans, because the Republicans are a very white party.

Mind you, I think it doesn’t matter that Iowa is very white. My personal opinion is they are more likely to be color blind, and not let race affect their vote.

If some of the most diverse states are worried about it then they can move up when they do their primary. The states with the largest percentages of black people are likely to go for the Republican anyway. To me diverse doesn’t mean black, it means many different groups, but I’m just making a point that African Americans are in the South in the largest numbers, in heavily Republican states, although I do think these states will continue to become more liberal over time.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Time was, 20–30 years ago, that Iowa was a comparatively liberal state, when contrasted to Nebraska, the Dakotas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. I think it was influenced back then by the (then) liberalism of Wisconsin and perhaps Illinois. And possibly by the two big universities.

Alas, the post-Roosevelt independent farmers aged and died, and the Reagan era washed away a lot of the progressiveness of the midwest.

ucme's avatar

Iowanna go first!

Sagacious's avatar

Sure, why not? Someone has to be first.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t agree.
When Republicans run for the office of President, they have to go through the Iowa caucuses just like everybody else.
And where I come from, blacks are more likely to be Democrats, so the numbers probably just about even out.
And from what I see here and on TV, Iowans are probably more likely to be very religious, and very biased towards people of color.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper Obama won in Iowa. I think people who live near cities with high populations of African Americans are the ones most likely to be racist in their voting. Sounds awful, but that’s my observation. Cities and suburbs where the black population is fairly large and tends to be fairly poor and the whites are middle and upper class.

kritiper's avatar

Iowa has 43 delegates to give. The candidate who faces Trump needs 1,990. So what is Iowa??

Sagacious's avatar

Do you guys not realize that the Iowa caucuses the other night were for both major parties. Trump carried the Republicans by something like 98%.

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