Sorry, Iowa, but you don't make the cut this time around

by Laura Kirshner // Published May 30, 2007

Curious about how the frontloading of the primaries will affect campaigning in your state? Here is a major clue. It is a memo leaked to the New York Times proposing an alternative strategy to primary campaigning for Senator Clinton. This just goes to show that whichever state leads the primary schedule or offers the most delegates on Tsunami Tuesday (February 5) will reap enormous benefits, to the dismay of the majority of the country.

I, too, want my state to be at the front of the primary schedule. I want candidates to visit me, to reach out and communicate with me, to respond to my concerns and to my beliefs. I think it"s safe to assume that I"m not the only one jealous of those "˜lucky" (perhaps "˜conniving" is more suitable) states at the front of the schedule.

But, have no fear, the American Plan is here! Well, sort of.

Last week I advocated the American Plan, and now, perhaps more clearly, you can see why. The sad truth is that campaigns allocate their resources in the most beneficial (instead of the most equitable) way. The states with the most to offer a candidate, like early exposure or a substantial bloc of delegates, will be inundated with campaign attention. Meanwhile, citizens of other states either look on to these states with wanting eyes, or end up in a fog of disinterest. The American Plan would give everyone a chance to hold a prime position in the primary schedule, which would hopefully boost civic interest and participation.

These issues extend beyond the primary elections to the general election as well. Even though Iowa might suffer the silent treatment during the primary election, it is nonetheless a key swing state and will be overwhelmed with campaign attention during the general campaign period. Check out this report on presidential campaign inequalities and the biased campaign strategies that serve the interests of swing states at the expense of the rest of America. I hate to break it to you, America, but chances are, presidential campaigns completely ignore you, fail to visit you, decline to spend money on you, don"t bother to advertise on your TVs, and neglect to listen to the issues that matter especially to you. For a short explanation of relevant grievances concerning the Electoral College, this may be of use.