It is annoying that the coverage is all concentrating on the raw initial preference vote in Iowa. Yes, there are no actual delegates to the national convention allocated tonight. But after the initial straw poll vote that is being reported on, the small number of people that actually stick around get to start voting for the delegates to the County conventions, which in turn will elect the delegates to the State convention, which will THEN elect the representatives to the national convention. This process won’t be complete in Iowa until June. But in other caucuses in other races, they try to use the selection of the county delegates to predict what the final mix of delegates will be that are eventually sent to the national convention. I’m really kind of annoyed that is not happening.
Because this initial vote DOES NOT MATTER in the delegate selection process. The voting for the delegates to the county convention is what actually matters for delegates, and IS NOT TIED to the initial straw poll vote. And most of the people leave after that first part it seems, so the actual delegates are determined by the really ardent and involved people who stay.
I’ve been picking up Alex and driving home, so I’ve been listening to streaming audio from CNN, not checking all the usual internet sources, so I don’t know what is being covered there, but in the parts I have heard, CNN hasn’t even mentioned the delegate process at all, and that just annoys me.
Of course, Iowa has 28 delegates out of 2286… 1.2%… Iowa really doesn’t matter very much at all in terms of delegates. And in previous cycles, by the time Iowa ACTUALLY gets around to allocating delegates in the summer, the winner is known, and the final delegate selections end up reflecting that reality rather than the results from January… (since none of the delegates to the county convention that are selected today are actuallY BOUND to continue to vote based on their preferences today).
So what ends up mattering out of Iowa is just the spin. Not who gets elected to the county conventions. Not even who wins the non-binding straw poll that decides no delegates. Just how people spin the results in terms of how the candidates did versus “expectations”.
All of which is very frustrating, because the only thing that SHOULD matter here is how the choice of delegates to the county conventions affects the chances of the candidates toward conventions to the national convention. Based on the preferences of the people selected for the county conventions you CAN do some projections of actual delegate counts. It is just nobody is even bothering to look at that part of the process. ARGH!
Things are rarely how they should be though, so we’re talking about the results of a non-binding straw poll instead of the process that actually allocates delegates instead. Sigh!
Oh well. Delegates will start coming in soon enough… :-)
In the mean time, with 88% reporting we have Santorum, Romney, Paul in that order, but very very close to each other. Which I guess is quite exciting in terms of being close and all…. But in the end, anything with Romney near the top ends up being good for Romney because nobody believes Paul can expand his support much beyond his core, and Santorum isn’t set up to compete much beyond Iowa… although a top 3 placement (let alone a win!) here may lead to a spike in fundraising and a bump elsewhere for Santorum… but…
Well, we will see I guess. I’ll stop fretting about the fact nobody is even trying to project national delegates based on county delegates and go with the flow and have fun with the tight three way battle in the non-binding straw poll. :-)
Edited 04:19 UTC to reflect 28 delegates for Iowa instead of 40.