Thursday, January 03, 2008

What’s The Big Deal About The Iowa Caucus?

As Iowa is under the nation’s political microscope this evening, one has to wonder the great significance of the caucuses in the Hawkeye State.

Essentially, the Iowa caucus is a great indicator of who will become president of the United States of America, some say. But besides the fact that Iowa is a state with a small population, the voter turnout for the caucus is small as well. It hardly seems fair that a less-than-diverse state has so much power in this political process. And many share this view as well.

Also, as far as an indicator as to who will be the next president of the United States, the Iowa caucus is not that great of an indicator. In 1988, then Republican Senator Bob Dole received more votes in the Iowa caucus then George H. W. Bush but it was Bush who not only won the party’s nomination but also won the White House seat.

Or better yet, in 1992, Democratic Senator Tom Harkin seemed like a shoe-in as president as voters selected him but in the end, it was Bill Clinton from Arkansas who the country voted for.

Sure, it’s going to be exciting to see what is going to happen this evening and especially next week during the New Hampshire primary. Basically, the caucuses are political playoffs and political junkies will be tuning in to see all the excitement.

However, the Iowa caucus should not be viewed as a definite outcome to such an important race but merely what may happen. But let's remember that the real power in selecting the next leader of this free country does not come from people from one state but the people from all 50 states.