What do you have in common with Iowans? Or is it Iowians? You know, those folks who pretty much decide every four years who the next president is going to be, or at the very least who YOUR two choices for president will be. Yes, that Iowa .
According the latest U.S. Census Bureau reports, Iowa has 2.9 million residents, roughly about 1 percent of the U.S. population. They have 93,000 farms that grow corn, soybeans and hogs – lots of hogs. Almost half of all Iowa residents live in rural areas. Only 21 percent of Iowa residents have a college degree.
John Wayne, Herbert Hoover and Glenn Miller are all from the Hawkeye state. The nickname is a tribute to Native American leader Chief Black Hawk.
Almost 95 percent of Iowa residents list “white” as their race, and the median household income is $44,000 a year, near the bottom of the U.S. Census’ definition of “middle class” (20 percent of Americans who fall in the middle earning $40,000 - $95,000 a year.)
So what do you have in common with the people who play a big role in electing your president?
Maybe nothing. Maybe a lot. But still why do most Americans “follow their lead” when it comes to presidential candidates? That’s right if a candidate wins in Iowa or New Hampshire – they are likely to go on to win their party’s nomination. Heck, just look at what happened with John Kerry in 2003.
Clearly most people are tired of it. State legislatures are trampling over each other to see who can schedule an earlier primary. But then there’s those pesky “national” folks who are trying to ruin everyone’s fun.
The Democratic National Convention just smacked Florida Democrats for saying they are going to hold their primary on Jan. 29, the same day as South Carolina . The DNC says if Florida holds the election that day, their delegates won’t count. That’s right, they WON’T count toward the Democratic nomination. Never mind that Democrats, who haven’t controlled either house of the Florida Legislature for some time, had little to do with setting the primary. Never mind, that a major constitutional amendment is on the ballot that day, sure to bring more voters to the polls. It won’t count.
Why? Well, because those national folks like tradition. And, tradition says only folks who live on a farm, with no college degree, in the Midwest can make a bigger splash in the presidential election. It’s in the rules. (Now, don't go all nutty about that last bit. I have friends who live in Iowa, and I like farmers. My dad was a farmer.)
Me, I’ve decided I might just vote for whoever comes in third, fourth or maybe even last in Iowa ’s caucuses.
Liberating Plankton, part 1
6 days ago