Skip Iowa?

Here’s an idea that’s being kicked around not only by the reporters who cover the Caucuses, but I’m guessing by Tom Vilsack himself:  why not skip Iowa?

During an interview yesterday, Vilsack said he would start taking his case to Iowans and he downplayed last week’s Des Moines Register Iowa Poll which showed him in fourth place among likely Iowa Caucus-goers surveyed.  Edwards, Clinton and Kerry were ahead of him.  With the field so full and the road ahead hard, Vilsack might choose to say "Hey, I’m not going to compete in the Iowa Caucuses."  He could argue it is a fairness issue to all the others in the race — and a gesture on his part of keep Iowa relevant, but it could be a wiser use of resources for a Vilsack campaign.  What kind of money will have to spent getting that first place finish in Iowa for Vilsack?  Wouldn’t that be better spent in places like New Hampshire, where they haven’t heard Vilsack’s speeches over and over?   

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. This is a serious strategy out of Camp Vilsack? Why on earth would a politician believe that skipping a home state primary is a “fairness” issue? No, it’s a ‘can’t get my butt kicked in my home state’ issue.
    Primary night had to have been a nightmare for Vilsack. All of his endorsed candidates went down in defeat, and not in close votes. Vilsack needs to spend the next six plus months rehabbing his Iowa reputation to even dream about a real shot at the White House. Yeah, a few speeches to the crowd in NH & SC combined with selling out the Iowa caucus system may advance Vilsack’s career, but it won’t happen without spreading a little bit of love around Iowa.

  2. John Neff says

    I doubt the reporters have enough guts to skip the Iowa caucus. It is already clear that some of the candidates are trying to line up support so they probably will not skip Iowa.
    My view is that the local Iowa office holders like the attention they get from the candidates and the press and there is a fair amount of money spent on motels, office rental, advertising so the business community
    wants the caucus to continue.
    Last time the press told us that Gephardt had the caucus locked up and then it was Dean who was unbeatable. I can understand why the press might think about skipping the caucus after making two big goofs last time.