Thursday, January 05, 2012

Good Luck, Republicans

"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." - KCCI

"Iowa GOP rules provide for a two-week certification process for each of the 1,774 precincts. The Iowa GOP will announce the final, certified results of the 2012 Iowa Causes following this process. Out of respect to the candidates involved, party officials we will not respond to every rumor, innuendo or allegation during the two week process. That said, Iowa GOP officials have been in contact with Appanoose County Republican officials tonight and do not have any reason to believe the final, certified results of Appanoose County will change the outcome of Tuesday's vote." - Matt Strawn, Republican Party of Iowa chair

The first thing I wrote late Tuesday night:
I used to say three things could kill the caucuses: a Screw Iowa candidate winning the presidency, an ice storm, or an ADA (or military) lawsuit demanding an absentee ballot. So... what does a dead heat result do? I don't care whether Santorum or Mitt wins; I care about 2016.
One of the last things I wrote early Wednesday morning:
I take the virtual tie line. One typo in one spreadsheet, one transposed digit, could flip this thing as the GOP checks the paperwork. By that point the national press and candidates will be in Nevada and South Carolina and it won't matter.
To the nomination race, maybe. But it could matter a lot to Iowa.

It's not the Republican Party of Iowa's fault that the result was close. And it's only a little bit RPI's fault that a local volunteer may have made a mistake. I spent a lot of time the last 36 hours tracking down details from my team's volunteers, and we Dems were just lucky enough we had a 97 percent victory margin instead of eight votes. (This does, however, point out some advantages of the Iowa Democrats' system of delegate results, which admittedly has different disadvantages. You're reporting numbers of people elected to a representative body, rather than raw numbers.)

But the national press won't see that distinction, they'll just say "Iowa screwed up an election (sic)." Not "the Iowa Republicans." IOWA. No doubt they'll invite Stephen Bloom on to critique our IQs. The Beltway gang hates hates HATES flying out to Des Moines and driving two hours to Polebean Center, when Manchester, New Hampshire is a short commuter flight from NY and DC and everything else is within 30 miles. (Anyone else catch the Boston Globe's little Screw Iowa dig tonight with a Jon Huntsman endorsement?)

I'm not a Democrat right now laughing at Matt Strawn's misfortune (I reserve that right for other matters). I'm an Iowan hoping they get it right. Because my first place in line in the 2016 Democratic race depends on it. Good luck Iowa Republicans, and thanks to all the volunteers on both sides who make the caucuses happen.


Chris said...

People might snark, but come on. With all the numbers that were tabulated, transcribed and relayed that night, it would be a miracle if that were the smallest mistake. Because there's no recount, we'll probably never see if there were others. But when has a recount ever failed to change a vote total, in any state? Nobody's perfect!

Moreover, who cares whether Romney was eight votes ahead or twelve votes behind? In what sense would a change of twenty votes tell us anything meaningful about voter preferences? (I know, it matters to people's perceptions -- but why encourage that?)

Chris said...

By the way, my own comments have been sounding snarkier than I've intended them to. As you can tell, I've recently become a regular reader of the blog and am enjoying it.