Reviews | Iowa is the right place for the first presidential nominating contest

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I live and teach in Iowa and don’t like the Iowa caucuses as much as anyone, but it’s naive to say that Iowa Democrats should be “stepping away” from their privileged position in the presidential nomination, at least for the reasons implied in the April 24 op-ed “It’s time to dethrone Iowa.

Caucuses are about more than nominating a presidential candidate, and any good state party will have its own interests in mind.

Iowa Democrats know all too well the heavy work required of party activists. They know that much of the caucus revenue stream never gets to the party and that simply setting up the caucuses is an expensive proposition supported by state Democrats. Even the once-cherished belief in a positive ripple effect for democratic state politics seems implausible, with these newly energized activists bearing the brunt of intra-party tensions.

Iowa Democrats are no fools, and they’re here for the long haul. They barely bask in the sun, but offer a spare bedroom or couch to one of the hundreds of young country workers who make Iowa their temporary home, forging relationships that could bear fruit in the future. – it might be worth it.

As much as I would love to see the caucuses disappear, I get the value they hold for Iowa Democrats. If they voluntarily “walk away”, I hope it’s because they’ve determined it’s in their best interest to do so, and not because of outside clamor.

Barbara Trich, Grinnel, Iowa

It cannot be overstated or excused that the Iowa Democratic Party failed horribly when it was unable to report results in a timely manner in the 2020 caucuses. This problem, while inexcusable , can be solved. But there is a balance of representation in the top four states that supports keeping Iowa in the mix.

Early states must be accessible (small) and affordable (reasonable media markets) so that new entrants can compete before large states attract attention. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina are accessible and affordable. Geographical balance is equally important. New Hampshire is the northeast; Nevada represents unions, Latinos and the West. South Carolina has the critical Black and Southern constituencies. These are important voices that need to be heard within the Democratic Party.

But where is the party that caters to the Midwest and its white, rural, small-town, or small-town voters — the constituencies that have gone for Trumpism? They too are important for the future of the party. It’s not about big states like Michigan, Ohio, or Wisconsin. Barack Obama won 53 of Iowa’s 99 counties in the 2008 general election. Hillary Clinton won six eight years later. The party should invest to get those voters back, not abandon them.

Bradley Knott, Kensington

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