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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Iowa has a bad track record. Why is it still first in the primary calendar?

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One of the problems in Iowa is, this is the third cycle in a row that theyve had kind

of big problems and some controversies about how things were handled.

In 2012, there were initial reports that, I believe, Romney won the Republican caucuses,

and it turned out it was Rick Santorum.

But Santorum was denied the boost, the bump, of having been declared the winner.

In 2016, there was an incredibly close result, and they didnt release the raw totals of

how people who showed up for the caucuses lined up on the Democratic side.

That caused a lot of concern and controversy.

And now you have this.

And so, the Iowa Democratic Party should have practiced maximum transparency from the first

moment and done its very best to get information out about the problem and, if they could,

release partial results to get that out, as well.

So thats the answer to one of those questions.

Now, on the second one, yeah, I went to a caucus myself, and it was in Dubuque.

And Dubuque is a historic union town, a pretty Democratic town, but also a place where, presumably,

Joe Biden would have done quite well.

I actually expected him to do pretty well in Dubuque.

Its one of the reasons I went there.

When they did the initial breakup just in my caucus, Joe Biden was barely runninghe

was essentially running about as well as Andrew Yang.

And as the night went on, Biden attracted some Klobuchar supporters and got to baseline

viability.

But in Dubuque, again, a town where I thought he would have been doing significantly better,

he was a weak fourth.

And I heard from across Iowa, anecdotally from precincts all over, that his numbers

were falling way short of what was expected.

And thats significant, because, you know,

the Iowa caucuses produce many winners and some losers.

You can finish second in Iowa and claim a better-than-expected run.

You can even finish like down the line, like, say, an Andrew Yang, and still point to a

lot of people who showed up and were enthusiastic about your candidacy.

And so, not having those numbers creates a lack of clarity.

It makes it hard for people who have done well to capitalize on their show of strength.

But it also makes it hard for people trying to analyze the race and get a sense of whos

got things going on.

And thats where the Biden factor comes up, because if indeed Biden, the former vice

president of the United States, running as the presumed front-runner for most of this

race, even in Iowa, and certainly still talked about as a front-runner nationally, finished

a weak fourth, thats significant.

And its, frankly, the kind of thing that should have been a part of the discussion

last night and this morning.

And, in fact, could I add one final thing on the complexity of all this?

You know, were on a State of the Union day, right?

And so, the timelines of news cycles become important.

And if you dont get the results of the Iowa caucuses clear and well presented, pretty

quickly, today, were going to be into watching Donald Trump give his State of the Union address,

and, in effect, the ability of a Democratic winner in Iowa to communicate about that win

is truncated.

Its limited.

And if it was a really close race, that would be, you know, something you understood.

But if its just a foul-up by the people that are supposed to be getting the results

in, theyre affecting a national race for president of the United States, one that they

claim to want to be thethey said they wanted to be the first.

They wanted to get this started.

And if they mess it up this badly, it really raises questions about whether they should

be doing it.

And this is not the only reason.

I mean, you have so much focus last night on the Iowa caucuses, and cameras tookon

the networks, took you into all these caucuses, you know, overwhelmingly white.

Iowa is, well, well over 90% white, when the Democratic Party, its like half people

of color.

And this is the first election contest, and that determines so much.

So you have that on top of the crisis that took place last night.

And, Amy, if I could add one other thing, too.

The caucuses are long.

You have to get there around 7:00 or before, really, to get in.

Then you take an hour or even an hour and a half, in some cases longer than that.

And for working-class folks, folks who work nights, that can be really tough.

There were a few efforts to try and set up satellite caucuses and other systems.

But, basically, these caucuses have very low turnout as compared to primaries.

And as I was sitting there last night watching the caucus I was at play out, you had people

walking back and forth across the room, and counts and recounts.

And it had a theater to it.

It was interesting.

But at the end of the night, you had to ask yourself: Wouldnt it be easier if you just

let these people vote?

Remember, for better or worse, we have set up a nominating process in this country, in

the Democratic Party, where you go very quickly from the caucuses in Iowa to the primary in

New Hampshire toyou know, you go on to South Carolina and Nevada.

And if youve got sort of lingering problems like this, it really does raise concerns.

And it undermines confidence, frankly.

And I have to tell you, I was at theseat the caucus I went to, there was a massive

number of young people who were caucusing for the first time.

You know, they are entering the political process, and they are coming with a lot of

hope, a lot of idealism, a lot of belief that they can have an impact.

And then to have it glitching and messing up and to have controversies,

thats just exactly wrong.

The Description of Iowa has a bad track record. Why is it still first in the primary calendar?