Another Look at ‘First in the Nation’ Caucus Results from Iowa

By Patricia L Johnson

The Iowa Caucus is always conducted on January 3 of a presidential election year and consists of four parts as follows:

(1) The Caucus Chairman holds a Presidential Preference Poll.

(2) Nominations are taken and an election is held for “precinct committee leaders”.

(3) Delegates are elected to the Republican County Convention.

(4) Platform issues for the Republican Party are submitted and discussed.

Although delegates are selected at various steps in the process, i.e.; the January 3, 2012 Caucuses, the March 10, 2012 County Convention, and the April 21, 2012 District Convention, the actual delegates to the Republican National Convention are not selected until the Iowa State Convention which is held on June 16, 2012.

Iowa may be first in the Nation for Presidential Preference polling, but they don’t seem to be real quick on the draw when it comes to actually casting a vote. Votes cast during caucus polling, as well as other steps along the way, are simply not binding and delegates can vote for whatever candidate they choose.

Once the Presidential Preference polling votes are counted they are submitted to the Republican Party of Iowa and the initial results are then provided to the media.

The initial results from the January 3, 2012 caucus indicated Mitt Romney as the winner with a thin margin of 8 votes, but by certification date, the count had changed.

On January 19, 2012 a statement was released by the Iowa Republican Party indicating Iowa had certified vote totals in 1766 of 1774 precincts with Rick Santorum having a vote count of 29,839, Mitt Romney receiving 29,805 votes, Ron Paul receiving 26,036 votes and Newt Gingrich receiving 16,163 votes.

The total of 121,503 certified votes for the 1766 precincts represents a record breaking number of people attending the caucuses, but due to the fact the vote was so close, and Form E’s were missing from several precincts; we’ll never really know who won the Iowa Caucuses.

The eight precincts that were missing Form E and were not included in the certified count are as follows:

If you have 1774 precincts and only count the results in 1766 precincts can you really declare a winner?

On January 31, 2012 Matt Strawn, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa resigned.

What is interesting about the Iowa Caucus is the opinion change from one week to the next. One week before the caucus polls Mitt Romney had a huge lead over Rick Santorum, yet according to the numbers presented, Rick Santorum came out on top.

What happened in that last week to cause Iowa voters to prefer Rick Santorum over Mitt Romney?

We can find the answer to that question by going back to the decisions made by the United States Supreme Court in 2010. The decision on Citizens United v. FEC gave corporations the right to donate and spend unlimited amounts of money on federal elections, while the SpeechNow decision gave individuals the same right.

For further information on this subject, please read “Super PAC’, the 2012 Election and You”.

© Patricia L Johnson

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