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The New York Times: Why Almost Nobody Will Defend the Iowa Caucuses

My Answer to the New York Times:

November 20, 2019
By John Gaps - USANewsIowa , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

As leading Democrats fight for ballot access, voting rights and diverse representation, their marquee presidential contest is hard to participate in and takes place in a state that is 90 percent white.

So there you go. The east coast noses are up and snooty again. Oh why, oh why would anyone let Iowa be the first-in-the-nation testing ground for the presidential race nationally? I mean, look at this place. 90.5% white, more pigs than people, and well, it's Iowa. "How can they know what's beating in my NYC-heart?"

This is the same talk that comes up every Caucus cycle. And it is, if anything, weaker than it ever was. Iowa was never meant to be a laboratory for Presidential politics, or even the predicter of the ultimate winner of the nomination.

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John Gaps III

Iowa is, to agree with distractors, an outlier. It is not a normal way to bring together a consensus on any one candidate or political movement. Iowa is retail. There is no wholesale in Iowa. Iowa is a process. Super Tuesday is a decider.

Anyone who has followed USANewsIowa, has heard this before, but if the NYTimes feels they have the gravitas to print this weak article, I'll beat this dead horse one more time.



1) Iowa is inexpensive. Hotels, meals, rental cars, TV ads everything in Iowa can be done on a budget. Big money won't move the needle in the polls in Iowa, so candidates tend to have to get by on their charisma and policies. You can't buy the Iowa Caucus See Tom Steyer about that one.

2) There is no political machine in Iowa. Teachers unions, labor, government workers, corn producers any other special interest group giving their endorsement means very little in Iowa. After years of Caucusing, Iowa voters are too hip and too independent to be swayed by endorsements. Even the Governor can give, his or her, endorsement and not be in line with the First Lady.

In 2004, Howard Dean got the labor endorsement. John Kerry won.

3) Iowa is white, so what? Iowans are an incredibly evolved species. Republican, Democrat, whatever, they are fiercely independent and very much on the side of individual rights. It is a friendly place with room for every special interest at the table. Iowans are enlightened in areas of race, sexual preference and the rights of the individual. The frozen winters are more of a reason there hasn't been a migration of people of color north. It only speaks to their intellectual superiority to stay put where it's warm.

4) Iowans can smell a rat. Trump finished second to Ted Cruz in 2016. In 2007 Rudy Giuliani got sent back to NYC. John Edwards was cast into the toilet bowl in 2008. If you can't mount a ground game in Iowa, you usually don't get the chance to make a more wholesale effort on the national scene. (You're welcome U.S..)

5) Where else would you do this? New York is too Democratic/liberal, Nebraska has yet to establish plumbing and electricity to all their locales. Missouri is still busy putting the civil war behind it and Texas isn't of a unified mind to remain part of the United States yet. Name a state or U.S. Territory that lends itself more easily to serving as the beginning, the first step, in this Democratic process, then let me know.

By the way, NY Times, that was an insanely lazy piece of journalism. Do your homework.

John Gaps III, formerly of The Associated Press and The Des Moines Register, is now editor/publisher of, a news & photo agency devoted to coverage of the Iowa Caucus race and issues surrounding it.



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