Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's An Iowa Thing

Yesterday, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele "Cameras? There are cameras?" Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll. Considering that she only beat fellow no-chancer Texas Congressman Ron Paul by 152 votes and that former Massachusetts governor and Utah Olympics savior Mitt Romney and Rev. (oops) I mean, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas did not participate, her win essentially means nothing.
The history of the Ames poll itself backs this up. Established in 1979, and held every 4 or 8 years (never when a Republican president is up for reelection) on a Saturday in August,  it's only correctly presaged the actual nominee twice. In fact, it hasn't aligned very well with the Iowa Caucus winner:
  • 1979: George H.W. Bush won the Poll and the Iowa Caucus, but lost the nomination to Ronald Reagan.
  • 1987: Pat Robertson won the Poll, Bob Dole won the Caucus and Bush won the nomination.
  • 1995: Bob Dole and Phil Gramm tied in the Poll, with Dole winning the caucus before getting his ass kicked by Bill Clinton.
  • 1999: George W. Bush ran the table. Well, except for the presidential election.
  • 2007: Romney won the Poll, Mike Huckabee the Caucus and John McCain the nomination.
So, here's my assertion: It's an Iowa thing. Popular in August, out of favor in February. Forgotten by November. Can we go to the photo:

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