Let's talk about Iowa.
We still, as of this recording, don't have final results from the Iowa caucus, the first
in the nation primary, which took place on Monday night.
It is time now to just very clearly say with no ifs, ands and buts.
No caveats, no restrictions whatsoever.
Iowa can't get the privilege of being the first to vote in primary elections anymore,
Now, there are a whole bunch of reasons for this and most of the reasons why Iowa actually
shouldn't be the first to vote, have nothing to do with the fiasco from Monday night.
The benefit of the fiasco from Monday night, if there is one, if there is a silver lining,
is that it's a good opportunity to put back in the spotlight that Iowa should not get
the privilege of being first to vote.
It's nothing personal against Iowa or Iowa.
Iowans are perfectly nice people, uh, the, the ones that I've met, but this is a much
bigger problem that we are dealing with here.
First and foremost, Iowa is not remotely representative of the democratic electorate nor of the country's
demographics in any way.
There's just no factual reason.
There's no empirical case for Iowa getting to be the first to vote when it comes to race
It's very obvious.
Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two to vote are 90% white.
The country is 60% white when it comes to economics.
When it comes to education, there is no mathematical or empirical justification for Iowa being
the place where it makes sense to start and going first does carry disproportionate influence
over the eventual subsequent primaries.
There's a good Vox piece from a couple of days ago which reminds us that there was a
37 point swing in the national polls when John Kerry won in Iowa and New Hampshire 16
years ago in the 2004 democratic primary.
Now then we get to the disaster on Monday night, the fiasco Monday night with the app
crashing and the results being delayed and immediate foul play and conspiracy theories
It doesn't help Iowa's case and it is another reason for realistically not even having a
single state be the first to vote, but instead having a number of States being the first
You could organize this any number of different ways.
You could say, well, we will divide the country into regions.
We'll have the Northeast and the Southeast and we'll have the West coast, whatever, and
we will have one state from each region vote first on the first primary day.
Or we could say if we really are convinced that we want to have one state go first and
one state only, which I don't think makes sense, you could at least rotate the state
or you could pick a different state that is more Def demographically representative of
Like for example, Illinois is often mentioned because of its racial and ethnic and educational
breakdown, uh, as compared to the country at large, it would be a much better fit.
You could use similar metrics, other good options for which States should go first.
If we're trying to have a state that's representative of the country, you can look at New Jersey,
you could look at New York, you could look at Florida.
It doesn't have to be a blue state.
Remember, it's the democratic primary that we're talking about and this is also a good
time to mention that there is nothing in the constitution about how primaries are supposed
to be run.
A lot of people don't realize that the democratic and the Republican parties, these are not
government entities and primaries are not real elections in a sense.
In a sense they are, but in a sense they are not.
And what I mean by that is that the process and the rules and the parameters for these
primaries are decided on by the parties and the members of the parties.
And of course at the state level.
And we're going to get to that cause that is a factor.
Back in 2016 you could tell a lot of people didn't realize that parties decide how to
run the primaries because people were looking at what the DNC did in terms of how they structured
the debates and how they helped Hillary Clinton as maybe being illegal was not illegal.
This was not a legal issue.
What the DNC did in 2016.
Now you do have state law and state constitutions that make this more complicated.
You have a, for example, uh, lots of States have laws about when the primary is supposed
Iowa says that it's caucus must happen eight days before any other state's proceedings.
That's why New Hampshire is eight days after Iowa's caucus.
New Hampshire has a law that says they must be the first primary, which is why Iowa goes
first, but it's a caucus and not a primary, so I don't want to pretend that getting States
to change their laws about this is easy.
It's difficult for sure, but the DNC can push them if they want to.
It's not clear that the DNC wants to change the system that we have so much like the electoral
More broadly, we are dealing with what are effectively outdated and broken systems at
Even the delegate system needs to be, you could do a national vote in the entire country
on the same day with instant runoff voting at the state level, giving everybody more
equal say and equal influence regardless of where it is that they live.
My preference would be to come up with a way to have more States go first, if not all,
or to rotate who gets to go first?
Why would it be bad for Connecticut Democrats or Washington state Democrats to go first
every once in a while?
It wouldn't be unless you want to perpetuate the DNCs stranglehold, an influence over the
way that this is run.
That being said, this will not solve if you have a different state, go first.
That state still has disproportionate power and influence and makes a bigger impact and
that is ultimately something that the DNC wants because it makes the primary easier
Uh, also just as a, as a Coda, the first primary shouldn't be a caucus and in fact, I would
support getting rid of caucuses altogether, period.
And any process that involves coin flips and requires hours of participation is outdated.
I won't call it bad, it's just not realistically fine tuned and a good process in 2020 change
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We'll take a quick break and be back right after this