February 6, 2020
How is it possible, that in the biggest election in maybe this nation’s history, in a state where candidates have basically lived for the past year, all Americans rely on something called a caucus to elect their president? With its first-in-the-nation electoral contest, Iowans have a huge influence over every other state, even more so considering their rank in population and diversity (31st and 45th, respectfully). Four years ago, the candidate to whom I would have voted for, was no longer in the race by the time Ohio held its primary.
Granted, a caucus whereby citizens gather to discuss politics is probably democracy’s most romantic act of loyalty, but why does Iowa’s caucus involve what many pundits are calling a “complicated formula?” Why is there a need of a formula to count votes and issue delegates? Even more confusing was that Iowa was to release three sets of numbers, for some un-gawdly reason.
How is it possible that Iowa, after installing new software to determine each citizen’s vote, not run a complete mock caucus, testing the entire system months ago? Especially given their influential first-in-the-nation status in such a monumental election. This is the third straight caucus in which Iowa has had problems. Serious issues were raised in 2012 about the outcome of Mitt Romney vs. Rick Santorum, while in 2016, doubts were raised about the result between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Two straight problems explain the need for new software.
Not only does Iowa have a huge sway over who we elect as president, the complicated formula used to distribute delegates was designed to give Iowa’s rural communities an undue influence over their urban counterparts. This is exactly why the Electoral College was established. Just because you win the Iowa caucus, does not mean you will win the nomination (the odds are pretty good for Democrats, not so for Republicans), however what these formulas (as apposed to actual votes) do is to give a huge influence to the most rural parts of one of the most rural states in the country. That isn’t democracy.
It’s time for a national primary.
Steven H. Spring