Even Iowans are sick of their unearned, undeserved electoral importance
Fuck Iowa? Fuck Iowa.
It’s not necessarily Iowa’s fault that it needs to get fucked, but fuck it all the same. It’s 2020 and we’re about to rush headlong into actual voting processes. But before we finally reach that point, we have been forced to endure yet another year of presidential election coverage centered almost exclusively around that goddamn state and a caucus system within it that essentially amounts to a handful of bingo gatherings. I’m sick of Iowa. Iowans are sick of Iowa. Just ask the sane ones. Iowa has absolutely no business being the command center for election season on a permanent quadrennial basis.
And yet, here we are stuck with the same state, with the same demographics (over 90% white) and same trucker-hat voters who, by now, probably have Jake Tapper on speed dial anytime they need to pretend to be fickle about issues. In the grand scheme of things, Iowa doesn’t matter. It voted for Trump by a six-point margin in 2016 after going for Obama twice in a row prior to that, but it doesn’t have enough electoral votes to be granted formal admission into the Hall of Official Swing States.
To forever compensate for that slight, Iowa gets to be the darling of an elongated pregame show to caucus and primary season. It gets this honor alongside New Hampshire (which has a literal state law requiring it to be the first state to hold an official primary, even if other states attempt to steal its shine). It’s an honor that sets the tone for how candidates pitch themselves, and for how the media both grades those pitches and how they view the American electorate as a whole, despite the fact that Iowa bears NO resemblance to a majority of that electorate. Iowa poisons the well, and it’s in the midst of doing so once again, at a time when Americans can least afford to have an election that orbits around its phony agrarian horseshit.
Back in October, the New York Times published a perfunctory rundown of how Democratic candidates were operating their ground operations in Iowa. Given that Iowa is the 23rd largest state in the union in size (New Hampshire ranks a lowly 44th), setting up these operations is no easy task. It’s just small enough of a…