Before the media gets too caught up pretending that New Hampshire and Iowa are great indicators of what the “folks out there” are thinking, it’s a little crazy to think that these two states weed out our presidential candidates when both of them put together don’t have the populations of New York (which isn’t voting until mid-April…when the primaries are pretty much over with).
How is it possible that Iowa—a state with more pigs than people—and New Hampshire (where the cold weather drives people South or to heroin) are more influential than California where more than ten percent of America lives? California’s primary is last in the nation in the middle of June, and the race will be pretty much over by then. That is, assuming Bernie Sanders concedes before the convention which is perhaps thinking too highly of him.
These are two states that are extremely white. In fact, it’s telling that both were really drawn to Trump’s immigration proposals despite neither state having enough Hispanics to fill Yankee Stadium. New Hampshire has, I believe, one Hispanic family who lives there. And if you want the Gonzalez family to move, just say so.
But I digress, these states are not only unrepresentative of larger America, but incredibly regional. Few people would say “I really need to move to Iowa and New Hampshire in February.” And you almost feel sorry for Florida-based Rubio who must be freezing his balls off right now. These are states with a weird sort-of small town pride, and New Hampshire’s motto is the notorious “Live Free or Die.”
People downplaying Bernie’s backyard advantage are really missing the point of states that don’t take too kindly to outsiders. The ultimate irony may be on the way: it’s the Southeast that is hosting their primaries next, and those are states with black and Latino voters. How funny is it that states long decried for their extreme racism are actually going to be giving minorities their first chance to have their voices heard? I never thought I’d say South Carolina is where the moderates take over, but it just might be.