Iowa Republicans to Rick Perry: Why Don’t You Love Us?
No offense to Iowa readers, but those of us in the other 49 states don’t find your traditional role of wildly disproportional power in selecting the next president as charming as you do.
The state’s primary electorate is largely isolationist. Economically, it’s wildly disproportionately agriculture compared to most other states. Aspiring presidents tend to pander on ethanol subsidies, although you’re starting to see Republicans defy this. It is deeply religious and socially conservative, but ironically, it’s different kind than you get in South Carolina. It relishes populism. What’s more, under the caucus system, turnout is exceptionally low compared to a primary. If you can’t find a sitter, you can’t vote. If you work nights, you can’t vote. There is no secret ballot, which is why we saw Iowa Democrats calling their neighbors racist for supporting Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama on caucus night 2008. It is a mess, and from where I sit, the sooner we drive a stake into the heart of the Iowa caucuses, the better.
Which is why I don’t really care that Rick Perry is somehow stealing the thunder of the Ames Straw Poll.
Craig Robinson, founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, fumes, “Texas Governor Rick Perry’s decision to announce his candidacy in South Carolina at the same time the Iowa Straw Poll is taking place in Ames is not only a slap in the face to Republican voters in Iowa, but it also is disrespectful to the Iowa GOP and the other candidates seeking the nomination. The move makes it obvious that Governor Perry either doesn’t understand the Iowa caucuses or doesn’t respect the role that Iowa plays in the nominating process.”
At Contentions, Alana Goodman writes, “Is there a potential drawback in Perry bigfooting the Iowa poll? Yes – the Des Moines Register warned it could irritate certain circles in the state GOP. But it sounds more likely an Ames-day announcement would have negative long-term consequences for Iowa than for Perry’s own campaign. If his announcement makes the straw poll look insignificant or meaningless, it could change the way future GOP candidates view the state. Which may explain why some Iowa Republicans are on edge.”