Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Quick Iowa Caucus Observation

with 2 comments

Folks, I’m watching the coverage of the Iowa Caucuses right now, and it’s pretty much going the way I’d expected.  Paul, Santorum and Romney all have around 23% of the vote, while Gingrich has fluctuated at 14-15%, sometimes dropping a bit, sometimes rising.

Here’s my observation, though; in politics, 5% of the vote can often determine the outcome of a close election.  We know this from history; there have been many races that had more than two candidates, and every time, if one of those “extra” candidates garnered 5% or more, that definitely affected the outcome.

But the pundits aren’t mentioning it on any of the channels I’ve monitored this far — Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.  Instead, they’re concentrating on the “sexier” three-way race between Romney, Paul, and Santorum.

But the fractured electorate in Iowa is the real story (make no mistake about it).  Consider that Rick Perry, a candidate basically left for dead, has a solid 10% of the vote — this is actually a story, folks, because if you get over 10% in an election you’re expected to lose, that shows you do have some traction even in “unfriendly territory.”

Even Michele Bachmann has a very solid 6% — this means she has considerable support, and yet the pundits have written her off in the same way they’ve written off Gingrich and Perry.

Look.  It’s obvious that the Iowa electorate isn’t impressed, at all, with Mitt Romney, as overall he’s getting fewer votes this time around than when he last ran in 2008.  It’s also obvious that the Iowa electorate likes many of the other candidates — and if there was an “anyone but Romney” option on the ballot, I bet that option would win in a landslide.

So keep this in mind as you listen to the after-action reports from the pundits, folks: 5% of the vote is a significant slice of the electorate.  And know that every serious Republican candidate who went to Iowa (remember, Jon Huntsman didn’t, which is why he’s sitting at 1%; in some ways to have even that much is a shock) did accomplish something, because getting 5% or more of the vote is significant and every single last one of them — even Bachmann — accomplished this goal.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Politics

2 Responses

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  1. I wasn’t impressed with Me-chelle Bachmann and wanted to dismiss her too. I think she should run for the N-PTA president, rather than POTUS.


    January 4, 2012 at 4:02 am

    • I think she dropped out today. But it’s still stastically significant she drew 6% overall. If you add all those “anyone but Romney” votes up, it’s pretty clear the Republican rank-and-file doesn’t like Romney at all.

      Barb Caffrey

      January 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

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