The big-state residents of California, population 38.8 million, can’t abide the once-every-four-years spotlight shined on Iowa, population Orange County.
That sums up the morning-after reaction by our letter writers, most of whom live in California, to the attention given to the Iowa caucuses on Monday, which were won by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton (by the narrowest of margins) on the Democratic side.
Perhaps it isn’t entirely fair to say that Californians bristle at Iowa’s quadrennial moment in the sun on account of their self-importance. Monday’s caucuses were preceded by months of poll-watching and analysis, much of it tedious and needlessly distracting from the timely policy debates that deserve more attention than an election that won’t happen until after the next World Series. And for that to culminate in a state less populous than the city of Los Angeles might understandably make some of us wonder why Californians should bother to vote in their primary ... on June 7.
It boggles my mind that the media place so much importance on such a tiny victory in a small state known primarily for growing corn.
Here is how some readers reacted to the Iowa caucuses.
John Trask of Thousand Oaks shows how few votes are in play in Iowa:
According to the Washington Post, Cruz “won 28 percent of 32 percent of 19 percent of 1 percent of the country -- 0.016 percent of the nation on the whole.” And the presidential election is still 10 months away.
It boggles my mind that the media place so much importance on such a tiny victory in a small state known primarily for growing corn. Cruz surely won’t be getting my vote.
Huntington Beach resident Richard C. Armendariz lists the reasons why Iowa is different from the national electorate:
It’s time we put the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary in the proper context. Iowa only has six electoral votes, and New Hampshire has four; California, in contrast, has 55. Past winners of the Iowa caucus like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have had little success in later states.
Both Iowa and New Hampshire do not have the ethnic or political diversity of the nation. Yes, the votes in Iowa and New Hampshire give us the first actual results of this election, but they will soon be forgotten.
Diane Scholfield of Vista rises to California voters’ defense:
As you implicitly chide California voters in today’s editorial by noting that Iowans turned out in record numbers, let me remind you what will be on my June ballot:
A presidential primary in which all but the leading two candidates in each party will have dropped out. A congressional district that has been so gerrymandered that the opposing party rarely has a candidate, and the incumbent is so sure of victory that he rarely meets with middle-class constituents. A list of initiatives that is long and often requires a law degree to understand.
Huntington Beach resident Rob Burns breaks from the pack and takes a positive view of the Iowa caucuses:
I was amazed watching the Iowa caucuses on TV.
People were excited! Everyone was filming the count! The names were on little pieces of paper, and some did head counts!
This was truly democracy in action, and it brought tears to my eyes. And I loved all the young people there too. The transparency was unbelievable.