Blogging the Iowa caucuses

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The Iowa caucuses are less than a month away, and you may be thinking, "Are there any bloggers in Iowa that can give us a perspective on the caucuses that we won't get from national media?" There are indeed.

Russ from Winterset, an Iowan active in Republican politics and a regular commenter at Ace of Spades HQ, was asked to suggest some blogs covering politics in Iowa. He named five sites in his reply: Iowa Politics, State 29, 24 Hour Dorman, Radio Iowa, and The Real Sporer. The latter blog belongs to the Ted Sporer, chairman of the Polk County Republican Party (that's where state capital Des Moines is) and an official in the state Republican Party.

Here are a few of posts on those blogs that I found interesting:

Political columnist Todd Dorman, in The Countdown: One Month to Go, lists the "top 5 campaign narratives that have turned out to be wrong" -- all the conventional wisdom that proved to be unwise. Number 5 is "Obama and Huckabee are on their way to caucus wins": "Sure, I know this is the current narrative. I just want to be among the first to say it's wrong. Please don't ask me why until January."

Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa interviewed Fred Thompson about fiscal policy, religion and politics, the contrast between Thompson and Huckabee, and Thompson's plans for the closing weeks of the Iowa campaign. Thompson recalled the conventional wisdom in 2004 that Howard Dean would win big and said it "tickles [him] to death" to know that Iowa voters have the independence to defy conventional wisdom.

Ted Sporer links to a blog post by Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich taking issue with Hillary Clinton's attacks in Iowa on Barack Obama's Social Security and health care plans and on his courage. Reich writes:

Yesterday, HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] suggested O[bama] lacks courage. "There's a big difference between our courage and our convictions, what we believe and what we're willing to fight for," she told reporters in Iowa, saying Iowa voters will have a choice "between someone who talks the talk, and somebody who's walked the walk." Then asked whether she intended to raise questions about O's character, she said: "It's beginning to look a lot like that."

I just don't get it. If there's anyone in the race whose history shows unique courage and character, it's Barack Obama. HRC's campaign, by contrast, is singularly lacking in conviction about anything. Her pollster, Mark Penn, has advised her to take no bold positions and continuously seek the political center, which is exactly what she's been doing.

State 29 has an entry about political diversity (the lack thereof) at the University of Iowa and has been in dogged pursuit of Sen. Chuck Grassley's efforts to get a $50 million earmark toward construction of a rainforest in Iowa.

Iowa Politics seems to be more of a comprehensive news site than a blog. A subdomain provides a helpfulIowa caucus visitors' guide, covering accommodations, restaurants, entertainment, and wifi coffee houses.

RELATED: Newsweek's latest Iowa poll has Huckabee zooming 22 points ahead of Romney. But hold the phone: Half of Huckabee's support and two-thirds of Romney's support is soft. Thompson is running third. Also, that's among 275 self-reported likely caucus goers, so there's a 7% margin of error. And about half of the "likelies" say this would be their first time to attend a caucus. I wonder what the numbers would be like for a sample of 500 previous caucus attendees.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 8, 2007 9:44 PM.

Jim Hewgley on the "Complete Our Streets" Report was the previous entry in this blog.

When religious views matter in politics is the next entry in this blog.

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