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What Makes Iowa So Great?

On the day of the Iowa Caucuses, I would like to hear your opinions in favour, or against the process. It has always troubled me that such a small state (just over 3 million people), with such a homogeneous population (91% white people) plays such an important role in determining who the nominee for president will be of each party. The time and money spent in Iowa is unthinkable, and a win or loss in that state’s caucuses can literally begin or end a campaign. A win in Iowa cements you as a legitimate contender for the presidency. But why? I know somebody has to kick off the primary season, but why not have a handful of states (maybe 15 or 20) go first? This way, no one state can play such an important role in determining who is the presumptive nominee.

Obviously, there are several examples of a candidate winning in Iowa and not becoming the nominee (right, Mr. Huckabee). But in most cases, the winner in Iowa becomes the legitimate frontrunner and is difficult to unseat, even if the impact of Iowa at the subsequent national convention is minimal.

I think there should be 5 primaries. Take the 50 states, divide them into 5 primaries (of 10 states each). Put as diverse a group as possible in each primary group, and shorten the season to 5 months (1 month to campaign in each group). Boom! Done. Wouldn’t that be a wonderfully simple, uncomplicated, and perfect system? I hope you can note the sarcasm.

In all seriousness, I do think there should be some reformatting of the selection process. Money and organization end up trumping ideas and leadership. But, I doubt that will happen at all, if ever, so let’s move on.