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How important is Iowa?(6 posts)

How important is Iowa?Free2Pedal
Jan 19, 2004 1:33 PM
The caucus is getting more attention than I've ever seen it get before. Should we expect this level of coverage throughout the primaries? In the grand scheme of things, how important is Iowa with respect to the primaries?
Not verymohair_chair
Jan 19, 2004 1:58 PM
Despite the wall to wall press coverage and massive amounts of money spent there, it only has about a 50% success rate in determining the winner.

Because it isn't secret ballot, a total voter turnout of 20% in Iowa is considered great. I don't know about you, but I would describe the roughly 70% plus turnout we had recently in the California recall as great, and 20% as pathetic/apathetic.

So make of it what you will. All will be forgotten in June.
Iowa has an EXCELLENT record in picking...dr hoo
Jan 19, 2004 4:48 PM
... losers. That is where the importance lies, in thining the field down. This year there is more coverage because the race is so close, and the country is so divided. It's like sports, the close game with a rival does well.

As for voter turn out, comparing a democratic caucus to a state wide and UNUSAL vote is comparing apples to frying pans. Iowa has a MUCH better record of turn out in presidential election years than California.

Year -- Iowa -- California
2000 -- 61% -- 44% of voting age population voted (not % reg. voters)
1996 -- 58 -- 44
1992 -- 65 -- 49
1988 -- 59 -- 47
1984 -- 62 -- 50
1980 -- 63 -- 49

Source: http://www.fec.gov

California might do a bit better when using % registered voters who actually vote, but Iowa will still is ahead EVERY YEAR. But since far fewer BOTHER to register in California, much less vote, that really does not matter does it?

It won't take until June to forget it all. Two weeks from now you won't hear a mention of Iowa, unless it is big ten basketball related.
talk about manipulating data!!!mohair_chair
Jan 20, 2004 7:25 AM
Wow. That data is so outright deceptive it can only be used for comedic effect.

Have some respect. Be honest with yourself!

Counting turnout based on percentage of voting age population who voted???? Please. EVERYONE knows only registered voters can vote. On election day, people who aren't registered can't vote even if they wanted to. That means even if they show up (i.e., turn out) at the polling place, they can't vote, and you'll say they didn't turn out.

Counting unregistered voters against turnout is like counting my non-appearance at various Hollywood premieres and the Arnold inauguration as significant, despite the fact that I wasn't invited to any of them. You might as well say people in comas aren't getting enough exercise. It's true, but it's just stupid to say it.
if the question is political participation and apathy...dr hoo
Jan 20, 2004 8:26 AM
... what is wrong with using a measure of political participation? Those that vote are participating. Those that never even register ARE NOT. Are you saying the FACT that California has a LOWER percentage of registered voters shows HIGHER political participation? Talk about manipulating data, you want to use higher levels of apathy to produce higher levels of "participation". Is that a valid thing to do?

Also, you are factually incorrect on the voting process. You say:

"On election day, people who aren't registered can't vote even if they wanted to. That means even if they show up (i.e., turn out) at the polling place, they can't vote, and you'll say they didn't turn out."

This shows your ignorance. Many states have "day of" registration, which means that people CAN show up, register, and vote.

California might do better on a comparison on percentage of registered voters. But I doubt the numbers will be higher than Iowa. Feel free to post the numbers, along with your source.
answer depends on which candidate you like nmDougSloan
Jan 19, 2004 3:46 PM