The Corner

The Iowa Debate

I entirely agree that it is utterly silly to think that the opinions of 14,000 Iowa Republicans amount to a hill of soy beans in this world. Except, they do. Because let’s face it, if you’re running for the GOP nomination for president and you can’t convince a few thousand Iowa Republicans to vote for you (hello, Tommy Thompson!), then what prayer have you of convincing anyone else to vote for you? If you can’t PAY a few thousand Iowans to vote for you, then you really ought to consider another line of work. So like it or not, the straw poll has consequences because, silly as it is, it is a highly publicized test of a candidate’s ability to gather broad support in the state that votes first. It’s not a good test. But it’s a very visible one. And as such, it is perceived as separating the wheat from the chaff, or the corn from the husk, as it were. Look at it this way: If you were a Republican donor or a corporate executive with few grand to drop on a presidential candidate, would you want to hand your money to some guy who TRIED and still couldn’t get even 2,200 Iowans to support him (hello, Sam Brownback!)? Not if you were a smart one.

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