div class=”dkimg-c”img src=”http://images2.dailykos.com/i/user/426/iowa.gif” alt=”" height=”377″ width=”550″ //div pThere’s some good debate about who is really ahead in Iowa right now. In a typically smart article, a href=”http://www.tnr.com/article/the-permanent-campaign/96476/cain-perry-romney-iowa-caucus”Ed Kilgore/a writes:/p blockquoteThe biggest reason why Iowa remains an open ballgame is that the two candidates currently dominating the polls, in Iowa and nationally, haven’t really committed to competing in the state./blockquote So, with a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/are-herman-cains-15-minutes-finally-over/2011/10/20/gIQARIkb0L_blog.html”Herman Cain/a not really being a serious candidate and with Mitt Romney barely competing in a state that doesn’t like him, Kilgore makes a great case that Rick Santorum, Rick Perry or some other dark horse might win. After all, it is an unrepresentative caucus open to the fringy “business-plan candidates,” Sarah Palin being the prototype (in it for the nbsp;boost to book sales and branding.) a href=”http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/10/perry_survives_craziness_aboun.html”Jonathan Chait/a, writing in the emNew York Magazine/em before this last debate: blockquoteOnce again, large portions of the discussion were given over to a crazy-off among hopeless candidates running as part of a business plan rather than to become president. Michele Bachmann blamed the financial crisis on overregulation. Newt Gingrich seemed to want to throw Chris Dodd and Barney Frank in prison. Gingrich defended the notion that the Affordable Care Act contained death panels. The moderators did not seem to know what to make of this. The most sublime moment of the crazy-off occurred when the moderators called in Bachmann, on her authority as a former tax lawyer (which is virtually nil), to assess Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan (which is beyond crazy)./blockquote But Kilgore’s point is well taken. Iowa is an unprepresentative caucus very much tilted toward the crazy wing of the Republican Party. Though it might be the biggest faction, the fact that they are so crazy would mean a huge discounting of the winner similar to what we saw when Michelle bachmann won the Ames straw poll, or what we see when Ron Paul wins any poll. pa href=”http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/96413/gop-primaries-field-business-plan-candidates”Jonathan Bernstein/a makes the case that only Perry and Romney are genuine presidential material candidates, with the process allowing the door to open to the people who want to sell books:/p blockquoteTheir incentive is to stake out the most extreme positions and court controversy in order to get themselves noticed by the most partisan customers of conservative books, talk shows, and other products, instead of developing carefully constructed issue positions designed to build party-wide support; their role model is Ann Coulter, not Ronald Reagan or Bob Dole./blockquote pThe GOP field’s poor quality candidates means the Iowa winner would be a loser. If so, Romney wins Iowa and it’s over. And if, as seems likely, it’s a not-Romney that wins, who will care? An Iowa win won’t make Rick Santorum into a GOP primary winner. And that means in the end, Iowa loses./p pExpect a lot more talk about ending this ‘first in the nation’ nonsense. Iowa is only bringing it on itself./p pa href=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~at/CZRC9Kq6MYknSBVFEmLl9MzBobw/0/da”img src=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~at/CZRC9Kq6MYknSBVFEmLl9MzBobw/0/di” border=”0″ ismap=”true”/img/abr/ a href=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~at/CZRC9Kq6MYknSBVFEmLl9MzBobw/1/da”img src=”http://feedads.g.doubleclick.net/~at/CZRC9Kq6MYknSBVFEmLl9MzBobw/1/di” border=”0″ ismap=”true”/img/a/pdiv class=”feedflare” a href=”http://feeds.dailykos.com/~ff/dailykos/index?a=iUDxhawcgls:ajDn-tWk7CA:H0mrP-F8Qgo”img src=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/dailykos/index?d=H0mrP-F8Qgo” border=”0″/img/a /divimg src=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/dailykos/index/~4/iUDxhawcgls” height=”1″ width=”1″/
The rest is here:
Who cares which non-Romney wins Iowa?