Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Is Iowa still Iowa?...

I have speculated that by moving up their primary, California could have a huge detrimental impact on the importance and coverage of the Iowa caucuses. This is one of my Four Pillars of Farm Policy.

Some however, think that the case is exactly the opposite:
Because Republicans are concerned about losing both control of the legislative branch (2006) and the executive (2008?), the base has decided to be pragmatic. Find me a winner and we'll back him. Because Democrats need to retain control of the legislative branch and believe that they have their best shot since 1992 at picking up the executive, the Netroots are being as pragmatic as the GOP base. So the "aura" if inevitability and electability keeps everyone in their places. Lose that aura and you're done. The front-runners (all of them) can lose that aura completely in Iowa and New Hampshire. And if they do, there's nothing to fall back on, the base will cut them loose in a heartbeat. [More]

One thing is certain, this wide open race - unlike anything we have seen for decades - is going to be very long, very harsh, and very expensive. You think the price of farmland is accelerating - look at the price for the White House!

Regardless, with good chances for higher prices in the foreseeable future, farmers have less to risk in any given candidate. We might surprise people and choose on the basis of gay marriage, or fiscal restraint - or most likely - the Iraq War.

Farmers have never block-voted anyway. But the sense of inevitability of farm program changes and the diminishing economic effect of subsides for many of us certainly can let the attention wander.

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