Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Iowa Straw Poll

How broken is politics in this country?

After weeks of reading about Iowa and the Republican Iowa Straw Poll, I wondered how many people actual vote in the poll.

Pick the right # from the list below

  • 1,600,000
  • 160,000
  • 16,000
  • 1,600
Any takers?

The absurd amount of press coverage for Michele Bachmann suggests a hugely important event. As the winner, she won 4,823 votes out of a total of ~16,000.

Read that again, 4,823 votes.

The fact that 4,823 mid-west voters are able to massively and disproportionately shape the debate regarding Republican Presidential politics is not only undemocratic but also absurd.

Why do we allow such small numbers of people such undue influence?

While I have nothing against NH or Iowa, I believe we have a fundamentally skewed process for selecting candidates and one that rewards extreme positions that cater to an absurdly small number of people.

Bachmann won less than 5,000 votes. This is a non-story and yet another example of how bizarre our political and news cycle systems are and how little they map to the reality the vast majority of us live.

1 comment:

  1. It's also a little more than curious that tickets for the straw pole are $35, and Bachman reportedly bought 6000. Let me get this right... she bought 6K tickets and got 4.8K votes? Not exactly the kind of ROI I'm wanting to see from a presidential candidate. Most people would be fired for that kind of investment. Yet, thanks to the media and your point about over-valuing the straw poll, it may be the best $200K she spends during the primaries.