Christopher J. Ortiz
The primary season kicked off Monday as the democratic
candidates fight over the prized Iowa caucus. How backward have we
gotten where a state with less than 3 million – 125,000 are
expected to participate in the caucus – has come into a position to
be an election maker or breaker.
For candidates, winning Iowa offers instant campaign
credibility. Why? There are only 45 delegates – out of 2,162 needed
to win the Democratic ticket – at stake. By the time Colorado gets
its turn to vote, the winner is almost already determined.
We feel this outdated process makes the primary process
dispositional between states with large populations and states with
large influence. The more fair way to run the primaries is to
reduce the time between states voting so that each vote counts.
Iowa is the first to go because instead of running a primary,
the state still uses the old caucus system, which dates back to
1846. Cousin of the New England town-hall meeting, the caucus
requires voters to discuss and debate the candidates for up to
three hours. Each of Iowa’s 1,993 precincts will hold meetings in
libraries, basketball courts and churches to determine who is going
to have the momentum to tackle New Hampshire and the rest of the 48
Iowa hasn’t switched to a primary platform because of the
national spotlight it gets as being the first state to vote.
Candidates spend huge portions of their election treasure chests
trying to win Iowa. Does Colorado get that kind of attention?
Another reason Iowa stays with the caucus is because of the amount
of money that comes in with candidates traveling to every single
Two candidates, Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Gen. Wesley Clark,
have decided to skip Iowa to put their efforts in winning New
I guess we will have to wait our turn to decide the Democratic
presidential candidate, if there is more than one person running
when our turn comes.