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What was the financial outcome of the 2016 Iowa Caucus?

The financial spending by the presidential candidates in the state of Iowa for the 2016 Iowa Caucus has gone beyond any early predictions. The total from both political parties' campaign spending was around $72,412,524.03, which is $20,818,675.03 more than the amount spent in the 2008 Iowa Caucus (See 2008). This amount of money will ensure that Iowa will continue to fight to be first in the nation for future presidential caucuses and campaigns.
The biggest winners in receiving the most funds from the candidates appears to be the media outlets in Iowa - mostly TV stations. They received around $65,000,000.00 to be divided up amongst a little over 20 TV stations (See below).

The top 3 candidates from both parties appear to have spent $.02/.03 cents per dollar from the total dollars dispursed for their campaign for travel, lodging, food, campaign staff salaries, and rental offices. This is only the amount spent in the state of Iowa not counting what was spent in other states.  The candidates who were below the top 3 appear to have only spent $.01 cent per dollar spent of their total dollars distributed in their campaign within the state of Iowa for travel, lodging, etc in the state of Iowa. A few of the candidates may have spent more and were not awarded one of the top 3 spots in the final caucus poll but there is nothing to indicate that any candidate spent more than .03 cents of their total distribution in the state of Iowa. These figures were based on what the candidates reported to the FEC.  We came up with two separate formulas: 1/37 percent of the total budget for the top 3 candidates and 1/60 percent of the total budget for those who did not finish in the top 3. 


Breakdown of Spending:

Democratic Spending for the Iowa Caucus: 

Candidate Ads (TV only) in Iowa Iowa Campaign Net Operation Expenditures 12-31-16
Hillary Clinton $9,400,000.00 $2,096,956.65* $77,587,396.20
Bernie Sanders $7,400,000.00 $1,263,615.10* $46,753,759.21
Martin O'Malley $219,000.00  $126,981.37  $4,622,391.07
        
Total $ 17,019,000.00 $ 3,487,553.12  $ 128,963,546.48

Republican Spending for the Iowa Caucus:

Candidate Ads ( TV only) in Iowa Iowa Campaign Net Operation Expenditures 12-31-16
Ted Cruz $6,000,000.00  $766,271.96 *  $28,352,062.59
Donald Trump $3,300,000.00  $336,240.32 *  $12,440,892.08
Marco Rubio $11,800,000.00  $801,769.22 *  $29,665,461.29
Ben Carson $3,500,000.00  $791,149.38 ^  $47,468,963.06
Rand Paul $1,100,000.00  $170,822.78 ^  $10,249,366.63
Jeb Bush $14,900,000.00  $405,537.35 ^  $24,332,241.84
Carly Fiorina 0.00*   $114,412.49 ^  $6,864,749.34
John Kasich 0.00*   $84,084.40 ^  $5,045,064.24
Mike Huckabee $2,000,000.00*   $63,018.74 ^  $3,781,124.10
Chris Christie 0.00*   $100,552.84 ^  $6,033,170.65
Rick Santorum $3,000.00*   $12,714.51 ^  $762,870.52
George Pataki 0.00*   $8,712.00    $524,850
Candidates who dropped out during or shortly after the Iowa Caucuses.
Boby Jindal $3,300,000.00*   $24,041.06    $1,442,463.52
Scott Walker $1,000,000.00*   $30,395.49   $1,823,729.05
Rick Perry $813,878.00*   $130,338.18  $7,820,290.68
Lindsey Graham $119,286.00*   $84,909.88  $5,094,592.30
Total $ 47,836,164.00   $ 3,924,970.60  $ 175,520,816.21


TABLE KEY:

* Total amount is unknown so 1/37 of total campaign expenditures used.
^ Total amount is unknown so 1/60 of total campaign expenditures used.
  If no astrisk, total amount is accurate according to FEC.
TV Total amount of advertisement is based on NBC News and source http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/total-amount-spent-campaign-ads-iowa-n504506 findings. 

Advertisements:
Figures were based on TV ads only.  Data was gathered from the findings of the sources found below.


NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/total-amount-spent-campaign-ads-iowa-n504506

SMG DELTA
http://smartmediagroup.com/case-study-smg-delta/

Iowa Campaign Staff Data:

NBC
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/democrats-outnumber-republicans-iowa-ground-game-race-n463221
America Blog
http://americablog.com/2015/10/jeb-bush-field-campaign-iowa-struggling.html
FiveThirtyEight
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/sanderss-iowa-ground-game-is-good-but-it-aint-obamas/

NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/us/politics/bernie-sanders-needing-early-lift-builds-iowa-ground-operation.html

Iowa Campaign:
After you take out the $65,000,000 spent on TV ads, the rest of the money spent in Iowa equals approximately $7,412,524.03 for about nine months of campaigning from around May 2015 until Febuary 2016. The amount spent on hotels, travel, food, and campaign staff was calculated based on the total amount spent by the top placing candidates up to December 31, 2016 and then divided by 1/37 to produce the estimation of .02/.03 cents per dollar spent in total. The total amount spent by candidates who did not place in the top 3 appears to be about 1/60 of their total campaign budget. Both of these percentages do not include the money spent for TV ads in the state. This is based on several candidates who have posted actual numbers of dollars spent in Iowa.  Campaign spending amounts that were available were verified on the FEC site.  The numbers in this field represent spending by the candidates on transportation, staffing expenses, food, hotel, and other items in Iowa as an estimation only.  Data was based on the sources found below. 

FEC
http://docquery.fec.gov/pres/2015/YE/
Follow the Money
http://www.followthemoney.org/


What are the main Iowa TV stations during the 2016 Iowa Caucus? 

IOWA TV STATIONS:

IA TV Station
Call Sign
Name of Station Location in State Owner of Station
WOI ABC Chanel 5  Ames, IA   Capital Communications
KCWI CW Chanel 23  Ames, IA   Pappas Telecasting
KGCW CW   Burlington, IA  Burlington Televison Acquisition
KCRG ABC Chanel 9  Cedar Rapids, IA   Gray Television
KGAN CBS Chanel 2   Cedar Rapids, IA   Sinclair
KFXA  Fox Chanel  28 Cedar Rapids, IA  Second Generation of Iowa
KPXR ION Chanel 48 Cedar Rapids, IA ION Media Networks
KLJB Fox Chanel 18 Davenport, IA Grant Broadcasting
KWQC NBC Chanel 6 Davenport, IA Young Broadcasting
WBQD-LP My TV Chanel 16  Davenport, IA  Venture Technologies Group
KCCI CBS Chanel 8 Des Moines, IA Hearst Television
KDMI This TV Chanel 56  Des Moines, IA  Pappas Telecasting
KDSM Fox Chanel 17 Des Moines, IA Sinclair
WHO NBC Chanel 13 Des Moines, IA Local TV, LLC
KFXB Fox Chanel 28 Dubuque, IA Christian Television Corporation
KWKB CW Chanel 20 Iowa City, IA KM communications
KIMT CBS Chanel 3  Mason City, IA   Media General
KFPX Ion Chanel 39 Newton, IA Ion Media Networks
KCAU ABC Chanel 9 Sioux City, IA Citadel
KMEG CBS Chanel 14 Sioux City, IA Waitt Broadcasting
KPTH   Fox Chanel 44 Sioux City, IA TTBG, LLC
KWWL NBC Chanel 7 Waterloo, IA Raycom
KWWF AMG TV Chanel 22  Waterloo, IA  ??
        

TV Stations
http://www.stationindex.com/tv/by-state/IA
Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_stations_in_Iowa
Markets
http://www.northpine.com/broadcast/ia/tvmarkets.html
U.S. Census

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/19000.html

 
How much money was raised up to January 2016 for the presidential election?

The breakdown of contributions from both parties for the 2016 U.S. presidential race, focusing on the top ten candidates according to the Federal Election Commission, are as follows:

1) Hillary Clinton $77,471,603.55
2) Bernie Sanders $41,463,783.81
3) Ben Carson $31,409,508.61
4) Ted Cruz $26,567,298.26
5) Marco Rubio $25,328,081.03
6) Jeb Bush $24,814,729.70
7) Rand Paul $  9,442,030.77
8) Carly Fiorina $  8,496,012.50
9) Donald Trump $  5,828,922.10
10) John Kasich $ 4,388,168.30 

These amounts do not include funds raised for Political Action Committies (PACs). Please review the links below for further information.


U.S. Census

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/19000.html
FEC Presidential Reports (Current Election Cycle)
http://docquery.fec.gov/pres/

FEC 2012 Year-End Presidental Reports
http://docquery.fec.gov/pres/2012/YE/
FEC Summary Reports
http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/srssea.shtml

University of WI Ad Project
http://wiscadproject.wisc.edu/wiscad
University of Wisconsin
http://wiscadproject.wisc.edu/wiscads_pressrelease_020108.pdf
CNN
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/01/iowa.ad.spending/


Iowa plays a significant role in the nomination of presidential candidates.

The Caucuses are primarily for the Democratic and Republican parties. In the last 40 years, starting in the 1970s when Iowa moved its' Caucus to be the first Caucus in the Nation, Iowa has become a predictor in identifying the top three candidates from both parties.  Only those candidates who finish in the top half of their party typically move on to campaign strong in other states. In fact, in the past, the Iowa Caucuses have become more of a clearing field in determining which candidates will stay in the race and which candidates will throw in the towel. This would appear to be a more accurate depiction of Iowa's role in the presidential campaigns than in determining which candidate will be nominated by their respective party. Iowa does play a big part in allowing candidates a chance to showcase their political prowess to a fairly middle of the road state.
 
(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_caucus.)

Iowa can be a barometer of sorts measuring the nation's state-of-mind because, for the last ten Iowa Caucuses, Iowa has identified the nation's two primary picks for the top runner from both the Democratic and Republican party five times and from just the Democratic party six times.  The importance of Iowa may be more significant to the individual candidates running for president than to their party simply because it is cheaper to campaign in Iowa than in many of the other states entertaining the notion of scheduling their Primaries closer to the Iowa Caucus. A win in an early state that is cheaper to campaign in gives an advantage to those candidates who would normally not have the funds to campaign in a larger state. Larger states will cost the candidates a greater amount of upfront capital to campaign per registered voter. In addition, Iowa's population is clustered into regions within the state, which makes it easier to reach potential audiences. Campaigning in a state like Iowa has advantages over larger states because their media outlets will focus on candidates as though they were celebrities, giving them free press and headline news, whereas other states would continue to cater to local celebrities, athletes, and business leaders, giving them the coverage and headline news, which would overshadow a political campaign candidate.

Iowa and other states of similar size are playing a larger role in close elections because of the electoral college. In 2000, the difference between the winner and loser was only five electoral votes, which means states like Arkansas,  Tennessee, and Iowa can change an election outcome drastically. 
(See http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2000/elecpop.htm.)

The Iowa Caucus is more 'traditional' than other caucuses. 

The Iowa Caucus process starts out months before the actual Caucus with assembly hall type meetings where candidates make scheduled visits to particular places in Iowa communities.  Typically, the meetings take place at local high schools, universities, libraries, town halls, coffee shops, hotel conference centers, and other public buildings.  The smaller venues allow the candidates to interact on a more intimate level while the larger venues allow a wider audience to participate as the candidate is able to move freely amongst the public, shaking hands, answering questions, discussing platform issues, and, hopefully, inspiring fund raisers to assist with campaign donations.  Most of the candidates are able to garner quality time with voters because of the small town atmosphere that permeates each meeting.  Iowans tend to have more traditional values and believe that the process of selecting the most qualified candidate for president of the United States is very serious business and every citizen's duty to their country.  Iowans are hospitable to candidates and enjoy engaging others in discussions on political and social issues, and the environment in Iowa has always been safe and inviting for presidential candidates in the 43 years Iowans have been hosting Caucuses.

FEC General Spending Information

http://www.fec.gov/press/bkgnd/pres_cf/pres_cf_Even.shtml
FEC Search Individual Presidential Election Spending
http://www.fec.gov/data/CandidateSummary.do
FEC Map
http://www.fec.gov/disclosurep/pnational.do
Open Secrets
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/
New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/election-2016-campaign-money-race.html?_r=0


How do the candidates promote themselves in Iowa?

The candidates who visit Iowa are afforded many opportunities to reach out and speak to Iowa Caucus goers.  One of the overlooked avenues to get the attention of Iowa Caucus goers is by talking to the local news sources. This allows the candidate to communicate their views to a significant amount of individuals in that local community without going door-to-door (See Iowa News). One of the main ways that a candidate can get their message out is via Iowa Public Television and by participating on Iowa Press, which has worked for sitting presidents and candidates who have won the Iowa Caucus in the past.  


Have Iowan's shifted voting habits?

Looking at the most recent voting trends, it seems as though Iowa voters are losing momentum in the voting booth and have reached the cap of individuals who are willing to vote in the general elections. The total popluation of the state of Iowa is 3,107,126, which is an increase of 60,257 people from 2010. The total number of voters in the 2010 midterms was 1,133,434 individuals compared to 1,142311 Iowans in 2014, which is only 8,877 more individuals. The 1.4% increase is not reflective of the overall population increase of 2.0%, which is what one would expect to see in the voting booth over the same time period. Although, the more alarming statistic is that 447,640 Iowans who voted in the 2012 election did not vote in 2014 - a potentially frightning trend, if it continues. Even as the Iowan popluation slowly grows, the voting interest seems to be waning.  For the past two decades there had been an increase in voter participation.  In 2004, 1,521,966 Iowans voted. That increased by 24,487 voters in 2008, and increased again in the 2012 presidential election by 43,498 voters for a total of 1,589,951. Unfortunately, this increase each election cycle may be losing its' steam; when looking at the congressional election of 2014, which had a total of 1,142,311 Iowan voters, there was a decrease of 410,877 participants who had voted two years earlier. The question is, will the 2016 presidentail election see a decrease in voters, forcing Iowa to fall in line with other states, which have seen a decrease in the interest to vote? At this point in time, it looks that way.

Iowa Legislature
https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/publications/SP/attachments/615751_741815.pdf
NPR News
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/2014-midterm-election-turnout-lowest-in-70-years/
Who were the winners of the Iowa Caucus?

On Febuary 1, 2016, the Iowa Caucus was successfully held at around 7:00pm Central Standard Time without any reported difficulties.  The Iowa Caucus is the first step in the nomination process of selecting the next President of the United States.  The winner of the Democratic party was Hillary Clinton, and the winner of the Republican party was Ted Cruz.

DEMOCRATS       DELEGATES

REPUBLICANS     DELEGATES
Hillary Clinton   (49.9%)       23 Ted Cruz       (27.7%)         8
Bernie Sanders  (49.6%)       21 Donald Trump  (24.3%)         7
Martin O'Malley   (0.6%)       0 Marco Rubio   (23.1%)          7


Ben Carson     (9.3%)         3
  Rand Paul      (4.5%)         1
Jeb Bush       (2.8%)         1
 
0 delegates
Carly Fiorina    (1.9%)
John Kasich    (1.9%)
  Mike Huckabee  (1.8%)
Chris Christie   (1.8%)
  Rick Santorum  (1.0%)
  George Pataki   (0.0%)

Who are the presidential candidates running in the 2016 Iowa Caucus

Presidential Candidates Listed A-Z
(Filed bid with the FEC and formally declared presidential run.) 

Democrats (http://www.dnc.org/)

Republicans (http://www.gop.org/)

Official Candidates:

Official Candidates:

Hillary Rodham Clinton
-- filed bid on April 13, 2015
Jeb Bush
-- filed bid on June 15, 2015
Martin O'Malley
-- filed bid on May 29, 2015
Ben Carson
-- filed bid on May 4, 2015
Bernie Sanders
-- filed bid on April 30, 2015
Chris Christie
-- filed bid on July 1, 2015
  Ted Cruz
-- filed bid on March 23, 2015
  Carly Fiorina
-- filed bid on May 4, 2015
  Jim Gilmore
-- filed bid on July 29, 2015
  Mike Huckabee
-- filed bid on May 2, 2015
  John Kasich
-- filed bid on July 23, 2015
  Rand Paul
-- filed bid on April 8, 2015
  George Pataki
-- filed bid on June 2, 2015
  Marco Rubio
-- filed bid on April 13, 2015
  Rick Santorum 
-- filed bid on May 28, 2015
  Donald Trump
-- filed bid on June 22, 2015
    
The official list is provided by the FEC. A complete list of candidates may be obtained upon request from the FEC Press Office below:
http://www.fec.gov/press/resources/2016presidential_form2nm.shtml 

Additional, unofficial, list sources:
 
NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/2016-presidential-candidates.html?_r=0
Ballotpedia
http://ballotpedia.org/Presidential_candidates,_2016
CNN
http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/05/politics/2016-election-candidate
U.S. Census
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/19000.html




An Iowan's Review of the Iowa Caucuses -

                    "The Deciders in Iowa."
                     
By: Richard A. Pundt

     Gravitating to Extinction:

Much like the adopted symbol of the Republican Party, the moderate Republican is on the verge of extinction. The elephant, once considered highly intelligent, self-aware, and believed to be capable of great empathy, may no longer be an appropriate symbol for today’s Republican Party. Instead of those precepts, today’s Republican candidates (especially for national office) verbally embrace and espouse bigotry, self-centered interest, and hatred. Moderate thinking individuals who considered themselves Republicans in basic philosophy, while also believing themselves to be intelligent, self-aware, and empathetic to others, are being driven from the ranks of the Republican Party. It would appear that a philosophy of moderation is no longer welcome in the Republican Party. In fact, a few years ago a Republican candidate for president, still a candidate for president, boldly stated that there was no room for “moderates” in the Republican Party. Over the past couple of decades that has been true.

In the year 2013, the African elephant sadly experienced the loss of 35,000 of its kind to poachers. It cannot be said that the loss of moderates from the Republican Party was due to poachers, unless one were to accuse the lunatic fringe as Party poachers. Let’s not do that. But it may be fairly said that such Party losses have been due to the capture of the Republican Party by those with limited philosophies. While the Republican Party is being held hostage by those with intellectual limitations, it has lost significant numbers in terms of registered voters in Iowa (in 2014/15 the registrations of Republicans in Iowa have dropped to 663,177 - see Iowa Secretary of State Statistics). Since there are 2,400,000 adults of voting age in Iowa with 2,132,143 individuals registered to vote, Republican registered voters represent barely ¼ of the eligible voters in Iowa. Nationwide the numbers are similarly disappointing. There are roughly 218,595,000 individuals eligible to vote in the United States with 146,311,000 registered voters (See: Statistical Brain Research Institute); and according to Pew Research, only 23% of the registered voters in the U.S. are Republican, while 32% are Democrats and 39% are registered as Independents.

As noted above, the loss to the ranks of registered Republicans has not been due to poachers but to philosophical extremism. Based upon current trends, some studies have projected that the African elephant may be extinct by 2020. In the case of the Republican Party, the point of extinction will likely take longer than five years; however, if the belligerence of the current base of the Republican Party continues, especially by purposely excluding moderate thinking individuals, the extinction is coming – it will just be a bit longer than five years. There is a reason that the number of independent voters in Iowa have grown to 807,088 (2014/15 statistics from the Office of the Iowa Secretary of State).

While Iowa leads the nation in providing the first stage of scrutiny for national candidates of a political party through its precinct caucuses, both the average voter and the average registered Republican are left out of the selection process. For example, in 2012, there were between 614,913 – 664,945 registered Republicans in Iowa (depending upon the source considered); however, only 121,503 of those voters turned out for the precinct caucuses in order to provide a measure of which Republican candidate for president was favored. These 121,503 individuals represent just over 19% of the 614,913 figure and barely 18% of the 664,945 figure of registered Republicans in Iowa. Of the 2,400,000 adults of voting age in Iowa, those 121,503 individuals, who attended the Republican caucuses in 2012, represented just 5% of Iowa citizens of voting age. Therefore, a mere 5% of the 2,400,000 adults of voting age in Iowa became the spokespersons for the entire Republican Party relative to the preferred choice of a Republican candidate for President of the United States.

If one were to contemplate the impact of the Iowa caucuses on the national plain of politics that has 218,595,000 individuals eligible to vote, those 121,503 Iowa Republicans, representing .0556 of 1% percent (121,503 ÷ 218,595,000) of the eligible national voters, tell the nation who the Republican choice for President of the United State should be. With this factor (considerably less than one tenth of 1%) in mind, it is quite easy to understand how a fringe group, whether religious, philosophical, or ego-centric, can control the Republican side of the electoral process in Iowa and accordingly, inform the nation who should be the Republican candidate for President. Is this an acceptable practice or is it simply an accepted practice? Should it continue to be such?

Stubborn Dissolution:

Like their Republican counterparts, the Democratic caucus goers are reflective of their Party symbol. The donkey (Democratic Party symbol), considered a domesticated member of the equine family, also found its origin in Africa and, while some of the species are considered to be endangered, most often the species is considered to have a notorious reputation for stubbornness which has been attributed to a strong sense of self-preservation. It is perhaps that quality, more than any other, that could be credited to the fact that the political party operatives of the Democratic Party insist that in order to have a “voice” in the selection process of a candidate for public office, a party member must “pay their dues” and work within party ranks before being considered worthy of serving as a candidate or trusted party member. That might be considered a bit stubborn.

Some cognitive studies have been done on the donkey and those studies indicate that the donkey is “intelligent, cautious, friendly, playful, and eager to learn.” However, like the Republicans of today, it is becoming more and more difficult to match such attributes to the Democratic caucus going citizen – particularly the “eagerness to learn” part. Today’s Democrats seem to have some difficulty in learning from their mistakes. Perhaps that is why the stubbornness remains as a peculiarity. The propensity of the Democratic Party leaders to remain focused on past party traditions, particularly the practice of closed door decisions by the Central Committee membership and/or actions by the “good old boys and girls” at the country club/kitchen table, remains alive and well. Under the Party’s unspoken rules, both new ideas and new people must work their way through the process. The dues of time and connections must be paid. Could that be the reason that Democratic candidates for political office often seem like the same “stale” people that have been around too long?

Although the number of donkeys world-wide is continuing to grow, that cannot be said of the number of registered Democrats in either the State of Iowa or in the nation. According to a May 2015 issue of the Des Moines Register, the number of registered Democrats in Iowa has dropped in 2015 to 585,178 from a total of 645,899 registered in 2011. That is a loss of roughly 60,000 voters, a decline of 9.4%. During that same period of time, the number of non-party voters increased to 703,208.

What about attendance at the Democratic caucus? In 2008 a total of 239,000 Democrats showed up for the presidential caucus in Iowa (George Washington University at: http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2008/chrniowa08.html). Using the 645,899 registered Democrats of 2011 as a measure, the attendees in the 2008 caucus of 239,000 would represent 37% of the registered Democrats who were in a position to select a presidential candidate. Of the total voter eligible population in Iowa of 2,400,000, the 239,000 attendees at the Democratic caucus represented just fewer than 10% of the state’s population. Those were the people who were able to impact the Democratic Party’s selection for President of the United States. As noted in the above section of this article that relates to the Republicans, there are 218,595,000 individuals eligible to vote in the United States. Therefore, the 239,000 Democratic attendees of the noted Iowa Democratic caucus, roughly .109 of 1% percent (239,000 ÷ 218,595,000) of the eligible national voters, tell the nation who the Democratic choice for President of the United States should be.

Working the System:

Additionally, it would appear as though the Iowa caucus system, coupled with the welcoming of large money interest for campaign spending in Iowa (with particular indebtedness to the Citizen’s United case), has become totally skewed to the limited philosophical wills of those with little appeal to the average voter. Working the system by those with access to large funds and by those with unique philosophical interests is reflective of how the selection process of candidates by both parties takes place in Iowa. Therefore, it is no wonder that a shipload of candidates finds their way into the Republican forum and debates. After listening to those debates and the idea of two rounds, or tables, including what has been termed the “kid’s table,” it is readily apparent that all of the Republican candidates should sit with bibs at the “kid’s table” where they can yell and scream as they set forth meaningless, senseless, and outrageous statement positions. The Democratic side is no better, especially when the Democratic hierarchy of party bosses set down debate limitations that favor specific candidates over others. That doesn’t seem to be very democratic of the Democrats.

Since both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party require party membership for caucus going voters, an individual must be a party member in order to select that party’s presidential candidate. Consequently, the independent voter, regardless of being a former Democrat or former Republican or simply independent minded, has no choice in the process when the Iowa caucus system of selecting a presidential candidate is considered. It is no wonder as to why groups of limited interest and/or little, if any, appeal to the public in general find it cleverly convenient to use either the Republican Party of Iowa or the Democratic Party of Iowa as a political power base.

Should the process of limited political party control in Iowa, as voiced through the Iowa caucuses, be the continued methodology for selecting a candidate for President of the United States? Is the primary system a better method, and if so, should a primary system be open to the entire voting populous? Do completely open primaries or even closed party primary practices, over a caucus system, provide a fairer approach? Finally, should a caucus system as used in Iowa really be first?

Maybe it is not the political parties or the caucus system but the lack of talent. Perhaps I’m wrong but where are the Abe Lincolns, the George Washingtons or the Dwight Eisenhowers? And, where are the Adams, the Jeffersons, the Madisons, the Monroes, the Roosevelts (both parties) or the Trumans? Is it that kind of talent that we are missing? Or for a candidate who does not have limited brain capacity or too much money to promote a misdirected campaign?

{NOTE: Mr. Pundt is a former political activist and Republican Party office holder. He has been actively involved in various campaigns for presidential, senatorial, congressional, and local office candidates.}


We thank the above official candidates and the following resources:

U.S. Census
http://www.census.gov/en.html
FEC
http://www.fec.gov

University of Wisconsin
http://wiscadproject.wisc.edu/index.php

CNN
http://www.cnn.com

IPTV
http://www.iptv.org

Iowa Press
http://www.iptv.org/iowapress

Iowa Legislature
https://www.legis.iowa.gov

NPR News
http://www.pbs.org/newshour

Wikipedia
http://www.wikipedia.com

The Green Papers
http://www.thegreenpapers.com
Democratic Website
http://www.dnc.org
Republican Website
http://www.gop.org

NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com

Ballotpedia
http://ballotpedia.org

About.com
http://www.about.com

Brainy Quotes
http://www.brainyquotes.com
Quote World
http://www.quoteworld.org

The White House
http://www.whitehouse.gov

 



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