|Despite efforts to evict the two states from the front of the presidential calendar, both managed to hang on for another election cycle that culminates with the Iowa caucuses on Thursday and the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8. As a year of media attention reaches its crescendo, voters in other states are saying enough is enough.|
According to a national survey conducted for The Associated Press and Yahoo News, just over half of all voters said New Hampshire and Iowa have an extraordinary amount of influence over who wins the two parties nominations.
"They have way too much - WAY too much - say," said Kevin Thomas of Tacoma, Wash. "California's a big state and they don't have any say, and Iowa's not even half the size of California. It really makes me as a voter wonder what's going on."
Fewer than one in five voters said they favor the current system that allows Iowa and New Hampshire to hold the first contests, while nearly 80 percent would rather see other states get their chance at the front of the line.
"I think they should take turns, maybe take it to a small state like Rhode Island that doesn't have a whole lot of voting power," Thomas said.
Both states have been criticized as unrepresentative of the country given their size and lack of racial diversity. Iowa - population 3 million - is 95 percent white; New Hampshire - population 1.3 million - is 96 percent white. Democrats tried to inject more diversity into the process by adding early contests in Nevada and South Carolina, but Iowa and New Hampshire moved even earlier.
It is not the color of the people but the thinking that gets me which Mickey Kaus also points out.
|Letting the presidential nominee be picked by the Iowa caucusers is like letting your antiwar tactics be picked by the last people left at the end of a 4-hour SDS meeting in 1970. The result: the leftist radicals win! [|