Yes, I know, it’s become de rigueur since the 2000 elections to nearly immediately question the results of close elections, particularly when you don’t like who won. However, there might be something to the story, picking up steam, that Mitt Romney might not have taken Iowa like it 1st appeared. As Virginia Virtucon tells us, a Des Moines station is reporting that 1 precinct where Romney was initially counted with 22 votes might have only cast 2 for him, instead. From KCCI-TV:
Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn’t.
“When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I’ve got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa,” True said. “Not Mitt Romney.”
True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party’s website, True’s precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.
With the margin of victory initially reported at just 8 votes, a loss of 20 votes by Romney would mean it was Santorum, not Romney, who won Iowa. That’s a big deal, certainly, but I don’t see a Santorum win by 10 or so votes as any more compelling than a Romney win by the same margin. Both men come out of there with plenty of momentum and, unless 1 or the other detonates somewhere on the campaign trail, it’ll be down to the 2 of them all the way to the convention, probably.
Is Iowa a big deal, in the grand scheme of things. I’ve written about this before and I’m afraid my position hasn’t changed much.
The argument against is pretty simple in concept. With the IA and NH caucuses getting so much attention and with so much riding on the outcome, it’s entirely possible – likely, even – that there will be candidates for the nomination in the race today that won’t make it to the primaries held in, say, Virginia. What that means is that Virginians won’t be accorded the same voice as Iowans or New Hampshirians (is that a word?) when it comes to who represents the Republican or Democratic party in the elections. If Iowa goes nuts for Huck and New Hampshire decides to throw all of their votes at a goofball like Paul, it’s possible that one or more candidates we Virginians may prefer will drop out. Basically, we’re going to be left with a choice of whomever IA and NH decide to leave on the ballot.
The argument to the counter is best summed up by Rick Moran in an article over at Pajamas Media wherein he asks, “So I ask you, as long as someone has to be first, why not Iowa?“
Why not, indeed, but the question assumes a conclusion not held to be proven. He says, “as long as someone has to be first”. I ask: who says anyone has to be first?
Note that this doesn’t address situations like we Virginians have this year where most of the contenders aren’t going to be on the ballot, butI think it would go a long way toward re-balancing the importance of all the states rather than leaving Iowa and New Hampshire as the perennial “first deciders.”