For anyone of us who ever said or even just thought “My one vote doesn’t really make a big difference, it’s just one vote out of many and I don’t really like any of the candidates anyway,” think about eight votes. Yes, as crazy as it seems only eight votes came between a winner and loser last night at the Iowa Republican Caucus. I mean that is Kate + 8 minus Kate (always a good thing) Eight Maids A Milking, Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights movie and eerily enough this 2010 documentary; “8: The Mormon Proposition.” Yeah, I’m sure the eight is a sign from God or some high-up Latter-Day somebody.
So, when the more than 1700 Iowa caucus locations finally hand-tabulated their votes by 2 a.m. this morning, Mitt Romney received 30,015 votes and Rick Santorum got 30,007. Both ended up with 24.6% of the vote. Hardly enough for a good Iowa corn-boil. And considering Romney outspent Santorum 50 to 1, it was actually a good show for Santorum. The rest of the candidates were pretty-much busy trying to pretend how “Iowan” they really were and well, that didn’t work out too well for them, although Ron Paul did much better than expected, coming in third.
Imagine you lived in Iowa and you were on your way to vote in the caucus and you got sidetracked by going to a movie, talking on your iPhone, texting, eating dinner out, having a few beers or visiting friends. If just eight people did that, it could have totally changed the outcome of the caucus vote. But, it probably will not matter or ultimately change the outcome of who eventually becomes the Republican nominee. In 2008, Mike Huckabee won the Iowa Caucus but John McCain became the nominee, George H.W. Bush became President with only 18% of the Iowa vote and Clinton won in 1992 with 2.8% of the Iowa vote.
But, in the political scheme of things although $40 million was collectively spent in Iowa by the potential candidates, the whole scenario still smacks of running for the city council. With CNN and MSNBC trying their hardest to make it out to be a big deal with their flashy caucus graphics, panels of pundits sitting around with not much to say, and television hours spent waiting for the vote counters to finish, It’s still Iowa. A state that has older demographics, mostly white with under 5% of the people voting. It’s not a true representation of all voters at all and yet they have this power of the caucus. Yes, they have very nice people in Iowa but there are more independent voters than either registered Republicans or Democrats. So, why the heck would they be considered a cross-section of America for Republican or Democratic caucuses? Beats me, their midwestern charm, work ethic and integrity is far above any of the politicians they vote for.