Politics & Society

It's Only Iowa, Right?

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Lee, here...

Happy Friday!

We wanted to end the week on an energetic note, which wasn't too difficult considering yesterday's results from the country's first Presidential contest in Iowa. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, both came out on top.

On the Democratic side, there was a gap of eight percentage points between Obama (28 percent) and his closest opponent John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina. To the surprise of many, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton finished with 28 percent of the state's Democratic vote — almost 10 points behind Obama, the front runner.

Similarly, Huckabee won with a significant lead (34 percent) among Republican candidates in the state. His closest opponent, former Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney, trailed him by nine percentage points. Fred Thompson, a past senator from Tennessee, finished third. And so forth, and so on...

Clearly, the heat is on in the race for the White House. The results in Iowa have shaken what some Washington insiders predicted. And, regardless of what happens on the journey ahead of him, Barack Obama has made history in a number of areas — as the first black candidate to win Iowa (with whites making up 93 percent of the voter turnout there, that's pretty significant) and, arguably, the first black man with a serious chance at winning the Presidency.

But what does this all mean ... to you?

It's only Iowa, right? Demographics in the state don't necessarily reflect the composite of the U.S.

But you tell us. Were you surprised, or swayed, by yesterday's results? ... Will the rest of the country follow suit?

Think about it over the weekend (or right now) and let us know what you think.

Comments

 

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Michel, it's a Sunday and I'm at the office and just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciate TMM. It makes a big difference in my life to have TMM's podcast as a part of my afternoon at the office. Keep up the good work.

Sent by Stan | 12:57 PM | 1-6-2008

I JUST FINISHED 6 WEEKS ON MY SOFA WITH MY FOOT ELEVATED ABOVE MY HEART AS I RECOVERED FROM SURGERY. DURING THAT TIME I WATCHED A LOT OF TELEVISION AND CONSEQUENTLY A LOT OF TV COMMERCIALS. IN THOSE ADS, I SAW PARADED BEFORE ME, A MULTITUDE OF SOMBERLY HUED FACES SELLING A PLETHORA OF GOODS AND SERVICES. IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT DURING OVER HALF CENTURY OF TV WATCHING I HAVE WITNESSED A GREAT CULTURAL CHANGE IN RACIAL ATTITUDES REFLECTED IN THOSE COMMERCIALS. COMMERCIALS HAVE ALWAYS REFLECTED PREVALENT SOCIAL MORES IN ORDER TO APPEAL TO THE HEARTS, MINDS, AND THEREFORE THE POCKETBOOKS OF THE CONSUMER. WHEN I WAS A CHILD, NEGROES WERE TOTALLY ABSENT FROM TV ADVERTISING. NOW, IF ONE WATCHES ONE WILL NOTE THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS PORTRAY PEOPLE IN EVERY FACET OF AMERICAN LIFE. THIS,I THINK,REFLECTS CHANGES IN RACIAL ATTITUDES PREVALENT IN AMERICA TODAY. SKIN COLOR FOR MANY IS TAKING ON THE SAME IMPORTANCE AS SAY, HAIR COLOR,IN DETERMINING A PERSON'S WORTH. THUS BLACKS ARE SEEN IN ROLES OF RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY. BARACK OBAMA'S VICTORY IN THE IOWA CAUCUSES IS IN PART DUE TO THIS ATTITUDINAL SHIFT. THE CANDIDATES INSPIRATIONAL AND ASPIRATIONAL MESSAGE RESONATES WITH THIS NEW EGALITARIANISM. WHEN HE CHANTS THAT"..THERE ARE NO RED STATES OR BLUE STATES ONLY THE UNITED STATES", WHAT HE IMPLIES IS THAT WE SHOULD THINK OF OURSELVES NOT AS BLACK OR WHITE AMERICANS BUT AS MERELY AMERICANS. IN DOING SO, HE IS TAPPING INTO A RESERVOIR OF GOOD WILL TOWARD HIM, THAT THIS CHANGE IN ATTITUDE HAS BROUGHT ABOUT.IT WILL BE INTERESTING IF HE CAN BUILD UPON THIS FOUNDATION AND GAIN THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION.

Sent by Carl Foster MD | 9:26 PM | 1-6-2008

One of the most interesting things, I think is that Huckabee, in terms of number of people who caucused/voted for him in Iowa, had fewer supporters (by far!) than Clinton, who was third there in the Democratic race. Personal thoughts on this -- since independents can caucus with whichever party they like, this may be a clue to where independents are leaning this election. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

On a personal note, as a registered Democrat, who is, however, far to the left of most of that party, I don't much care which Democrat gets nominated. I'd love to see a woman or a person of color in the white house, and am willing to support someone a little more to the center to accomplish that. On the other hand, of the big three, Edwards is the farthest to the left, and closest to my own politics. Of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, I'd take any of them.
Of course, Kucinich is lefter than all of them, but whether I vote for him in the primary or not, his nomination is a pipe dream.
I'm really more concerned about the general election than the primaries.

Sent by Jaime Taylor | 9:21 AM | 1-7-2008

Also, criminy, the primary system needs to change; it's absurd that a few hundred thousand people in two states get to dictate, election after election, which bandwagons the rest of the people in this country are going to jump on. And don't get me started on the electoral college!

Sent by Jaime Taylor | 10:21 AM | 1-7-2008

Happy New Year TMM since this is my first post of the year. Was I surprised? Very much so! I was surprised with both winners especially Obama considering the demographics of the State. My Aunt called me late Thursday night and just said "can you believe this?" I knew what she meant since I was watching the results on CNN. The Iowa results have no effect on how I'll vote late this month in my home state of Florida but I've got to say, I'm impressed.

Also, though I will not vote for a Republican candidate for President, I must say I find Mike Huckabee fascinating. He came into my consciousness about four years ago for his dramatic weight loss and how he embraced a healthy lifestyle. Even as a Republican, he talks about taking care of the environment and some other social issues that might be thought of as "liberal." I just want to know what is in the water in Hope, Arkansas; Huckabee with his guitar playing self reminds me of another saxophone playing guy who "believed in a place called hope."

Sent by Moji | 11:26 AM | 1-7-2008

Until I get a clear response to
why the proven mathematical extreme
advancement in space and atomic technological data addressed by one
of the presidential hopefulls, my
vote is neither Republican nor
demorcratic. THIS technological topic
should literally fuel voter awareness, media concern and above
all presidential candidate alertness
on non-funding for deeper tech.

Sent by jerry a. Myers | 9:18 PM | 1-7-2008

I just wanted to say Happy New Year to all of our bloggers and correspondents and thanks for keeping us on you radar. appreciate the thoughtful dialogue; let's keep it going

Sent by Michel Martin, host | 9:00 AM | 1-8-2008

Let's say Obama becomes the first black President of the United States. Okay, that's really stretching my imagination and his too I'm sure. Hear me out--he will have beat a white woman in public. Ouch! I know how that sounds and thats why I said it. So listen here! This black guy, enroute to the White House, beats a white woman, mauls a Mormon who may have sang in the Mormon Boys Choir, but didn't serve in the military during war, and defeats a former Vietnam POW to become President of the United States in such a manner that nobody living in Washington or America can violently protest his moving in, can't go to his realtor to see if they can buy him out, can't have their kids beat his kids up, can't poison his well or his dog and can't accept the fact that he is the new guy on the block with the beautiful black wife and they are making mad love each and every night in the Lincoln bedroom. What normally happens, urban history informs us, is the phenomena of white flight goes into full swing. But, listen to me now---I got a question. Where they gonna go? They aint gonna just up and leave these United States to all them illegal aliens they believe have infiltrated these United States, and risk becoming illegal aliens elsewhere themselves eventually. Aint too many developing nations looking to house as many potential illegal aliens from the US as might want to leave "that New Guy in the White House". (This will become the new "N" word--"NEW GUY" --as in "Hey Harry, ya see we got a NEW GUY in the White House???? (wink,wink)) Europe? I don't think so. The Euro is turning Americans into paupers on the streets of European cities. Thats where American tourists go to ask for spare change on the quiet corners not already occupied by guitar strumming hippy-wannabe throwbacks to technology's big bust. Guess what folks? There aint too many quiet corners left where a decent guy from America can get a handout. A lot of places are probably printing signs for their airplane terminals and border crossings reading ???NO HYPOCRITES ALLOWED!??? Looks like we'll be looking at a bunch of folk who want to leave America in 2009 because of the NEW GUY in the White House but -- I got a question -- Where they gonna go?

Sent by George Edward Buggs | 9:18 AM | 1-8-2008

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