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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ohio Republican Party: Its Official GOP Blog Echoes Strickland's Iowa Caucus Concern

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Ohio's Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has been catching flak over a comment that the Iowa caucuses make "no sense." There is speculation that the remark will go down as the governor's gaffe. Now the Ohio Republican Party -- no ally of Strickland -- has linked to a USA Today editorial that seems to share his sentiment that Iowa should not have such crucial power over the presidential selection process. A link to the Ohio GOP blog is here.

The USA Today editorial it cites raises concern that Iowa's voter participation is too low, the voting is too early, and the state is too tied to an agricultural economy to be any kind of stand-in for the rest of the nation when it comes to the serious job of picking a president. The Ohio GOP -- by giving that concern prominence on its partisan Web site -- seems to be saying it agrees with Democrat Strickland. Here's USA Today:

"It seems odd that candidates would spend months, and millions of dollars, in Iowa in pursuit of an election that would barely constitute a neighborhood in some large American cities. It should. Iowa is not tiny, 30th in population according to the Census, but its time-consuming caucus process means that only 8% of the population will participate."

The newspaper said that about 87,000 Republicans will caucus, according to predictions ahead of the voting -- that's not even a full house at a Washington Redskins game. For Ohioans: It's not even close to a full house at Ohio Stadium when the Buckeyes play; it's just a tad smaller than the population of Parma, Ohio.


  1. I think the hype is misplaced in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Neither state has the numbers or the demographics to be "the one" and everyone knows the only reason why so much money is spent and so much attention is paid is because they are the first. Frankly the way the media and many proclaim the winners based on these two election processes, both who make voter registration easier than a larger majority of the country, seems to actually work against what the main reason the primary system was created, and that was to promote democracy as opposed to a small group of people making the decision as to who would be the presidential candidate. If the results of Iowa and New Hampshire continue to hold some type of major power in the election process we are again allowing a very small number of people to make the decision of who should be the presidential candidates as opposed to a larger consensus. Some of this push gets silly such as DFA encouraging Ohio residents to write letters to Iowans to encourage them to select a "real progressive". The attempt to skew the results which clearly happens in Iowa and New Hampshire by the dollars spent and the political machinery really does not tell you who the best candidate is, I watched the news tonight where they were interviewing a woman who was supposedly undecided, then after hearing Obama decided on him, participating in the newspaper poll that listed Obama ahead but then after hearing Biden and Clinton was now undecided. Frankly, if that is the type of voter making the "big decision", I wasn't impressed.

  2. Hi LisaRenee --

    This debate, angst, whatever, about Iowa and New Hampshire comes up every four years. After all is said and done, the system seems to work fairly well and is quite transparent, open and democratic.

    It has delivered some pretty good candidates and winnowed some pretty bad candidates for the major U.S. political parties. As you know, Eisenhower showed he was viable in 1952. That ended up eventually putting the nails in Ohioan Robert Taft's presidential hopes. Taft was probably too conservative for the times, so the voters up in N.H. did teh GOP a favor by liking Ike. Clearly, the early caucuses and primaries have sent messages to those in power -- LBJ decided not to run after Sen. Eugene McCarthy ran so well in New Hampshire.

    All in all, it seems to work. Yes, a painful way to start a campaign. But it does seem to function as intended. I can't see why the Ohio primary should come to the fore -- we're already drenched in presidential politics and have enough responsibility. I do think, however, that Iowa and nH. are way too early in the year. Go back to March. This January business is too early. LisaRenee, I understand where you are coming from. I don't think there is a better system that's been proposed.

  3. I agree with both of you here. Lisa IMO Iowa and NH are not even a close cross section of the public and should not have so much sway over who WE have as our next president.

    Bill - you’re right too. After all is said and done - the system seems to work for the best. At least the best of any other country.

    Most of you guys should know I can't leave a comment that is unopinionated as the above one.

    I really do agree with the both of you, but really what good is it my comment if there is not a little -King Rant?

    So reaching in my pocket for two pennies and tossing them in the bucket, here is my two cents...

    The presidential election has become a joke! From A to Z, top to bottom, left to right, up & down it has become to be almost a year long circus!

    States are fighting to see who goes first in the primary elections, candidates already serving in office are neglecting their duties, and the collective amount of money already spent by the candidates even before the first primary/caucus is an em-Bare-Ass-ing amount of money.

    If we were in "Kingsville" this is how I believe it should be done...

    Rule #1 - No campaigning or fund raising before the 1st day of January of the same year the election will be held. (If a '08 election, Jan 1, 2008 would be the first day any campaign activity may start.)

    Rule #2 - Primary & Caucuses will be held within the same time frame.

    This would be something along the lines of all states will go to polls on same day for voting. If because of logistics this cannot be done - the states would all vote within a time frame of three days of each other. Results will be held until all states have completed voting - then results will be announced.

    Rule #3 - All states will vote on an open ticket.

    Any party and/or person that can get enough signatures to be on the ballot for president get a chance. Obviously they must meet the legal requirements. Top three vote getters, of all the states, and their respective party make it to the general election.

    Side Note: I do not like that in Ohio we are forced to only vote for one party when voting in the primary races. There is not one reason that I will ever accept on why a U.S. citizen cannot freely choose for who he and/or how he/she wants to vote.

    As for the general election - pretty much the top dog wins President of Kingsville!

    I have not yet worked out all the details on campaign finance but I will. If you cannot tell, I am very funny when it comes to voting. I do not believe voters should be limited on choices because of how other states vote.

    I’m sure many won’t agree with my proposed rules but that’s OK. Opinions are not meant to always be agreed upon.

  4. Hi King --

    I like that you would start the actual campaigning later. You say Jan. 1. That may be a little too late. But something around there I could live with.

    On your open voting -- that I do not understand. These are nominating primaries by the parties to choose their candidates for the fall general election. If you want open voting, do away with the primary, ease ballot access, and let the person with the highest number of votes be the winner. Or do something like Louisiana -- where you run in the first round, and the two people with the most votes move on to the final election. I think someone who gets 51% in the first round wins automatically, but I am not sure.

    Ralph, you do have some very interesting ideas. You sound like a thinking man's conservative.

  5. Ask Republican Mike Huckabee if he agrees with Gov. Strickland, et al. I think it's cool that political nobodies can come to Iowa and emerge as viable candidates, even if their campaign tresuries are realtively broke.

    I would feel even better if it were possible to explain the caucus voting system in 25 words or less.