Tuesday, Iowans gather to make their choice for the Republican presidential nominee. The Iowa caucuses are a make-or-break moment for some 2012 candidates, and Iowans take their role as the first step in the selection process very seriously. However, some have criticized Iowa's role in the electoral cycle, and these criticism have not been taken lightly. Andrea Mitchell drew heat, when in a Sunday NBC interview with Republican strategist Mike Murphy, she said, "The rap on Iowa: it doesn't represent the rest of the country--too white, too evangelical, too rural."
Bloggers and pundits immediately jumped on the remark. NBC defended her comments, saying that she "was referencing critics who argue that the state shouldn't carry so much weigh," but went on to interview "analysts and Iowa voters who explain why the state is so important." But this is not the first controversy that surrounds Iowa's role. A December Atlantic article by University of Iowa professor Stephen Bloom characterized the state that "may very well determine the next U.S. president" as poverty-ridden, homogenous and extremely religious. Iowa supporters accused Bloom of over-generalizing, stereotyping, and inaccurate reporting.
Even as the Iowa caucuses lead the headlines and broadcasts throughout the day, their importance is still debated. Not only is the state unrepresentative of both the national Republican party and the country as a whole, but it also has failed to pick the GOP nominee in three out of the last five contested races.
What do you think? Is Iowa too white to kickoff the selection process? Take the poll and comment below.
Previously: Is the GOP 2012 Race Already Too Negative?