THE BLOG
01/03/2012 10:22 am ET | Updated Mar 04, 2012

America Sure Has a Funny Democracy

"You Americans sure do have a funny democracy."

"Tell me about it."

"Let me get this right, you have to win the party nomination in order to be on the presidential ballot."

"So far, so good."

"And the party nomination is determined by these states saying which candidate they want."

"That's right."

"But does a candidate have much of a chance of getting the nomination if they lose in the first 3 states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina?"

"That candidate would probably be done."

"So really the people in those states have much more influence over the primary than people in other states. Guess that means there really isn't one-person one-vote."

"True, but we have far more egregious examples then that."

"I know about gerrymandering, the Electoral College, the Senate representation distortion, blocking third parties from office... but today I am focused on this Republican primary season. So those first three states, the ones with so much power, surely they represent a large percent of the American people."

"Actually Iowa (about 3 million), South Carolina (about 4.7 million), and New Hampshire (about 1.3 million) have roughly the same population as New York City. They are dwarfed in population by states like California (about 37.7 million), Texas (about 25.6 million) and New York (about 19.5 million)."

"So those aren't populous states. Surely they must represent the ethnic mix of the United States."

"New Hampshire is 94% Caucasian and Iowa is even higher. Hispanics and Latinos are approaching 1/5th of the US population but are rarely found in those three states."

"So these states don't have similar demographics than the rest of the US. Are they much better educated?"

"New Hampshire is one of the top 5 states regarding the percent of residents with at least a college degree but Iowa and Alabama are near the bottom."

"So residents of these three states, three states that comprise only a very small percent of the US population, three states whose demographics do not come close to mirroring that of America, two of which states have education levels far below that of the rest of the US are going to be the major deciding factors in who represents the Republican party."

"That's right."

"You Americans sure do have a funny democracy."

"Sure do."