Fucked-Update: Cock-us

Written by  //  January 4, 2008  //  Fucked-Update, Politics  //  8 Comments

Yup. It’s caucus time. If any of you are just dying to know how the caucus system works, you can check out this handy Idiot’s Guide to the Democratic Caucuses. It’s a good, brief summary of caucus mechanics…although, the Republicans do things differently than the Democrats, so you might have to dig around if you’re really curious about how they do things. Personally, I think I’m better off not knowing the inner workings of the Republican party.

Iowa Schmiowa

So…many of you are probably wondering how Iowa got so fucking important in the world of politics. I was wondering this too. According to ye ol’ wikipedia, the Iowa caucus wasn’t didn’t get much attention until the 1970s. Basically, the NY Times started running articles about how states that held caucuses (I really think it should be caucusi) seemed to be pretty accurate in predicting who would get party nominations. Notice I said pretty good. It isn’t always accurate. So in that sense, Iowa doesn’t matter so much. They get a lot of attention because their caucus is the first. That’s it. It’s just first. So in theory, no one should give a shit about who Iowa picks (unless, of course, you live in Iowa, in which case you have much bigger problems). However, realistically speaking, Iowa matters a whole lot. Why? Because your average American voter is completely ignorant about what’s really going on. No seriously. And if it wasn’t bad enough that most voters are morons, they’re also sheep. Yes. Sheep.

You see, Americans like to win. Yes siree, they do. So when your average American voter sees that the good people of Iowa have chosen a candidate, more people will jump to support the winning candidate because they want to be on the winning team. Most candidates won’t lose many supporters due to a bad showing in Iowa, but a few of the candidates will drop out soon and their supporters will be re-distributed among those still running. Then there are the undecided voters who wait until after Iowa, New Hampshire, and/or South Carolina to choose which candidate is most likely to win. The problem with this system is that voters tend to be short-sighted in primary season.

If you don’t believe me, think back to the 2004 primary season and ask yourself why the Democratic party thought John freakin’ Kerry was the best candidate to face-off against an incumbent (true, the incumbent was an idiot with a low approval rating, but an incumbent none the less).

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with voting for the candidate most likely to win. I do, however, think it’s stupid to support a candidate for the nomination without considering the possibility that they’ll be slaughtered in the general election. I also think it’s stupid to change your support after Iowa if the candidate you liked initially ranks in the top 3 in the caucus. If your candidate comes out in the top tier in Iowa, there’s still a really good chance they’ll stay strong. Hell, they could even get the nomination in the end. Of course it’s highly unlikely that a candidate will get the nomination without winning in at least one of the early voting states. But that just goes back to the people are sheep thing. Super Tuesday is highly influenced by the results of the early states.

Iowa Speaks! Let’s Hope no one listens…

Democrats:

Obama: 38%

Edwards: 30%

Clinton: 29%

Those are the only numbers that matter for the Dems. The other candidates were so far behind that they should be dropping out at any minute. Although Richardson may hang around for a while…he’s like that.

I don’t think these results were much of a surprise to anyone…although I was a little surprised that Edwards beat Clinton. Of course, his victory over her isn’t impressive enough to brag about. These candidates have been the top-tier since they announced that they were going to run. So…no real news here….

The Republicans, however, are much more interesting:

Huckabee: 34%

Romney: 25%

Thompson: 13%

McCain: 13%

Paul: 10%

Giuliani: 3%

As you can see, the Republican candidates have shifted much more than the Dems have. Giuliani with only 3% of the vote? No one would’ve believed that 6 months ago, when he was leading. And of course, Huckabee taking 34% is both scary and satisfying. Sure, he’s terrifying, but he’s also utterly beatable in November. Then, there’s the big shocker: Ron Paul takes 10%. That’s craziness. Expect to hear lots of gloating from Ron Paul supporters. Remind them that at 10% he’s still in 5th place. I also find it amusing that Fred Thompson, who has hardly done any campaigning at all…and usually embarrassed himself when he tries…managed to common in third. That’s more evidence that the Republicans are falling apart. When Huckabee is the best Iowa can come up with, something is very, very wrong.

So there you go, folks. I know this is considerably less exciting than past installments of the Fucked-Update, but the sad truth is the Iowa caucus has basically monopolized all news coverage for the last week. Nobody’s talking about anything except the election. Bah. And they wonder why people are too lazy to show up at the polls…. After 1.5 years of campaign nonsense, no one gives a shit anymore.

About the Author

Cap'n Colleen

Cap'n Colleen is Donnybrook's political columnist and militant, dangerous, international activist.

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8 Comments on "Fucked-Update: Cock-us"

  1. Ivyy January 4, 2008 at 10:04 am · Reply

    So do you think it means anything for Hillary? Should she be worried that she didn’t win Iowa? I ask because I honestly think she’s the candidate least likely to be slaughtered in November. I like Obama but I don’t trust his experience enough to send him in- the Democrats need the big guns for this one. Thoughts?

  2. Cap'n Colleen
    Capn Colleen January 4, 2008 at 10:35 am · Reply

    I don’t think it’s trouble for Clinton. Not yet anyway. She’s been running a strong campaign and as long as she takes New Hampshire or South Carolina, she should be fine. Even if she doesn’t take either of those, she could still win on Super Tuesday and stay in the running for the nomination.

    If she had won Iowa, the race would basically be over, I think. Only because I expect her to stay strong and for some reason people are easily swayed by the results of the Iowa caucus.

    I don’t know why…

    I mean seriously…when else do people say “Well, if it’s good enough for Iowa, it’s good enough for me?”

    Seriously….

    I’m mostly just sad that the Dodd is out. I knew he wouldn’t last, but I kind of love Chris Dodd. Sigh….

    As for Clinton being least likely to get slaughtered in November, I think you may be wrong about that. Edwards is polling really well against the Republican candidates. Which isn’t to say that Clinton couldn’t win in November, I just think Edwards is the safest choice.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if Edwards takes South Carolina…mostly just cause he was born here and people like to stick to their own. Although, I’ve been in SC’s capitol city since July and the only evidence I see of any of the Dems campaigning on the ground is from Obama. So he could take SC too. I don’t see Clinton holding up here, so she better be hoping for a big show in New Hampshire.

    Wow, that was a long comment.

  3. #1 January 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm · Reply

    I agree with Ivyy. My vote is going to Hilary because what I’m looking for in a President doesn’t have to do with dancing.

    Also, this whole system with NH and Iowa going first isn’t very democratic for a country that claims to be a democracy.

  4. Bang Tango'ed January 4, 2008 at 1:45 pm · Reply

    I’m voting for bush once he makes it legal to run for a third time. Shortly thereafter, I’m moving to Norway.

  5. Cap'n Colleen
    Capn Colleen January 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm · Reply

    Sadly, no one running has what I’m looking for in a President.

    I have a lot of issues with Clinton…and they totally overrule my desire to vote for a woman.

    Well…maybe. I really want a woman president.

    Fuck this. I think I’ll just vote for Ivyy.

  6. Western Homes January 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm · Reply

    I think it’s worth mentioning that John McCain didn’t campaign seriously in Iowa because he is dead set against farm subsidies, which is what props up most of the state’s economy. Giuliani and Romney’s weak showings could be very good news for McCain in New Hampshire (which he won over Bush in ’00). I’m sure none of you bleeding heart leftists care but from where I stand it would be awfully nice to have the two nominees be Obama and McCain — it’d be the first time two decent human beings ran against each other since before the civil rights movement began.

  7. Team Donnybrook
    Special Occasion Bobby January 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm · Reply

    I would love it to be Obama vs. McCain. Or Edwards vs. McCain. Or really anyone and McCain because if we’re gonna have another Republican I think McCain is the only decent person there is.

  8. Lady Z January 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm · Reply

    lets all be honest, here… ANYONE would be better than the current president (ok, it has to be a democrat)… so all the talk I’m hearing about Obama’s lack of experience is just dumb… He would be great, Edwards would be fucking great, Hillary would rule… you know, it all reminds me of when Kerry won the nomination, and then everyone got all caught up with all of his shortcomings, and Bush won… WTF? Thats a mistake I’m definitely not making this time around. I’m all lined up and ready to vote for DCs Feb. 12th… no matter what bumfucking Iowa has to say about it… It is exciting however, because finally SOMETHING IS HAPPENING… the last 1.5 years of speculation was like watching grass grow…

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