Is This Any Way to Run A Country?

Is This Any Way to Run A Country?

Created: 11 February, 2016
Last update: 21 November, 2022

I am not a “numbers guy,” but from baseball to politics, numbers fascinate me.

Following the Iowa Caucuses, I wrote about the fact that the national media had OD'd on a state unworthy of their time, attention, and money.

The percentage of registered Republicans who voted for the GOP's 11 candidates was 17.6, while only 15.8 percent of registered Democrats voted for Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.

That means only 16.7 percent of Iowa’s 2,141,725 registered Republicans and Democrats participated in their state's caucuses -- as in their over-publicized, much ballyhooed, disconnected from real world reality caucuses.

Or, to put it another way:

In a state of corn fields and cows, 83.3 percent of the state’s registered Democrats and Republicans did not vote – 83.3 percent!

So, brothers and sisters, if you think democracy matters, and that shocking statistic of 83.3 percent not voting doesn't boil your blood, then you need to report immediately to the nearest ER and have your pulse taken, to see if you have one.

So complete is the sham of Iowa, that the state’s largest number of registered voters, independents, were not permitted to vote in either Republican or Democratic caucuses; but that inconvenient fact was deemed unworthy of media focus.

Now, About New Hampshire...

First, the good news.

Voters in the Granite State clearly take their politics more seriously than Iowans.

Of the state’s 892,472 registered voters, 506,681 voted in Tuesday's presidential primary, or 56.7 percent – a significant uptick from Iowa.

The total number of Republicans voting: 269,681. The total number of Democrats: 236,878.

The two top Republican vote-getters, Donald Trump and John Kasich, received 140,626 votes; Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, got 232,880 votes. (True, they were not going head-to-head, I get it, but I chose to make the comparison, nonetheless.)

Mr. Trump’s win was predicted; Governor Kasich’s second place finish was not, even though some media had him closing fast in the field of GOP candidates.

The Ohio governor’s vote total was 42,733. He achieved that total by appearing in 104 town hall meetings. That’s not a misprint – 104. (Is it just me, or do you wonder if the governor of Ohio appeared in 104 Buckeye state towns this past year?)

The one certainty about what happened in New Hampshire Tuesday is this:

The most likable of all the candidates in this year’s presidential sweepstakes is clearly Governor Kasich.

The man is likable because he seems authentic; a decent, caring guy – and the antidotal evidence backs that up.

Though a Kennedy guy, I feel it, don't you?

I fear, however, that come South Carolina, the governor is going to get chewed up by the state’s not-so-nice politics, as Steve Schmidt, MSNBC’s Republican analyst, recently pointed out.

In relative terms, New Hampshire did itself proud.

I have a lot of friends north of the Mass border (all Red Sox fans, of course) and I am pleased to write that 506,559 of them demonstrated Tuesday that they still think governance and politics matter.

But the hard truth is that the two states of Iowa and New Hampshire, totaling 4,428,000 people, represent only 1.4 percent of Americans.

The 864,463 who voted in Iowa and New Hampshire represent only 0.59 percent of the 146,311,000 registered voters in the USA.

And, when you factor in that both states are overwhelmingly white – 90.2 percent in Iowa; 92.3 in New Hampshire – you must ask, assuming you have a reasonably rational mind, how did it come to this?

Need we look any further than the media?

Need we look any further than money?

Rachel Maddow pointed out the other night that in 2012, $2,000,000 was spent in New Hampshire, but this year, even before the final ad buys were in for print and electronic media, the total exceeded $100,000,000!

Is this any way to run a country?

I don't think so.

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About the Author

George Mitrovich

George Mitrovich is president of two leading American public forums, The City Club of San Diego and The Denver Forum. In addition, he chairs the Boston Red Sox The Great Fenway Park Writers Series.