As I recovered from my New Years Eve hangover, I was overcome by the random desire to talk to people in Iowa, so I turned to gay.com, the only place I know of, (other then AOL, which I don't have) to magically ride the nations spotlight and talk to people at the center of the storm. There's been more focus on Iowa this year then ever before and they're feeling it, some citizens and caucus goers are reveling in it, with pride and passion. About fifty or so jumped at the chance to talk to me and I found some interesting little tidbits about the process.
All the Iowans I talked to are still greatly undecided, but I was able to garner some interesting mentions. Such as Clinton volunteers and campaign workers in the chat rooms, not only to connect and be social but to actually champion her as their choice. Is Hillary the only one that fosters being "out" on the campaign trail? No one mentioned other campaigns so comfortable with the online world, apparently Obama and Edwards staffers don't identify with both their sexuality and campaign, but that's just a theory.
waverlydan: i have chatted with at least 20-25 guys who are in iowa working or volunteering for caucus ALL of them are working or volunteering for Hillary
That seemed to be the trend actually. I was pointed to Politikalone a profile that stated he was in politics, but I couldn't get his attention. The guy who referred me to the screen name, said he'd changed it; from referring to Clinton Camp to the catch-all of politics. The reason for the change goes unanswered. When I started asking about the caucuses most people asked if I was on Hillary's team, I confessed I was a supporter, but just an interested writer out of New York, curing my beat up hangover.
I came into the room, looking for an explanation, regarding the super fluctuating polls, one week Obama has a commanding lead - the next week Clinton is sure to win. Most confusing and exciting, a debate is clearly raging in Iowa. A debate that will come to a head tomorrow since the Democrats have the caucus model, while the republicans merely straw vote, the Democrats try to convince through lively discussion who their candidate should be, the republicans just count. The candidate must have a 15% viability to stand, if the group of people for a candidate does not meet this percentage, the fun begins and so does the passion, they have to be convinced over to a "viable" candidate, so everyone has a second choice.
Out of the very small random sample I talked to (which might be just as reliable as checking the bean jars in an Iowa diner), Edwards was their choice. So he has a fascinatingly strong chance of wining, after the voters for Bidden, Dodd, Richardson etc. can't find traction.
iowaguy2: I'm an Obama supporter, but honestly, I think Edwards will win Iowa on the Dem side and Huckabee on the Rep side
Kucinich even opened the New Year by publicly asking his Iowa supporters to vote for Barack Obama if he doesn't gain the 15% threshold. In the last election cycle he sent them to Edwards.
The candidates incisive campaigning has reached a fever pitch. One guy begged to be put on Mitt Romeny's do not call list, he tried explaining he was a democrat, yet the calls still kept on coming. Another one had 31 political calls on New Years Day. Some are stating they've made up their minds, just to make the calls go away.
The caucus goers are passionate and they lament that the candidates will ship out as soon as the vote is cast and will hardly ever return again. They also don't seem to be focused or concerned with national polling data, only caring about who they personally want for president. Who they believe best represents the values of Iowa, about 3% of actual voters will head to the caucus because it's a time consuming affair, some chatters I talked to believed their vote didn't matter, this strange concept eludes me, because in Iowa, voter turnout is everything, it's a place unlike New Hampshire or the rest of the country.
In some ways, Iowa is a massive PR stunt. The candidates mobilize and push their people in. What's strange is that Clinton, other then her chatting staffers, didn't have more support. I heard everything from, "out with the old guard" to "she's to stern".
So we'll all wait and see, move on to New Hampshire quickly and see who'll take that state, after all, Bill didn't win Iowa; will Hillary follow the same road? Or more importantly have Iowa voters chosen to challenge her claims of being preordained.
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