It seems like we have been hearing about the Iowa caucus since President Obama last took the oath of office. Residents have had to endure a barrage of ads and phone calls for a long time.
For months we have listened to news outlets breathlessly announce the latest poll. These polls are of little value for several reasons. First, the turnout is very low. The winner of the Republican caucus will receive votes from around 1% of the state's population. That makes it very difficult to find them. Many don't make up their minds until the day of the caucus. Finally, there are technology difficulties. Everyone had land lines a generation ago. It is much harder to reach them now.
A much better way to predict the outcome is to look at those who vote and each campaign's ability to reach them. Voters are willing to sit and listen to speeches for several hours. Newcomers are less likely to show up. Iowans take great pride in being first and seeing the candidates up close. The Republican cause is dominated by the religious right.
So who will win? Ted Cruz will appeal to the party's core, has visited every county and is more likely to attract the experienced caucus goer. Clintons have
been coming to Iowa for a quarter century. They were overconfident in 2008 and I don't expect them to make the same mistake.