Wednesday, January 04, 2012

3 Things I Learned About the Iowa Caucuses

(1) The number of voters is tiny. How tiny? Well, the DCist shared this tweet:

@charlesallendc: More people voted in the last DC Mayoral primary than in tonight's Iowan Presidential primary.

The math works like so:

Iowa has close to two million registered voters, and only 122,000 participated in the caucuses. The District has a mere 450,000 registered voters, of which 134,000 participated in the 2010 mayoral primaries.

(2) Buzzfeed put boots-on-the-ground for the event. One of the usual claims about the journalism vs. blogger divide is that journalist actually show up, while bloggers are re-usually adding to / re-purposing existing content (the usual exception being when an activity happens in a blogger's back yard). There's some truth to this, so I was a bit surprised when Buzzfeed appeared to send a team member to report on the caucuses in person. The result is more blogy content then a traditional news article. Yet, it's surprisingly informative and gave me a feel for the caucuses that CNN and friends couldn't.

Sure, this isn't the same as sending out war correspondents, but still, it's an interesting experiment and one I applaud them for taking. Hopefully they'll keep it up.

(3) Confused about what a caucus is? The Simpsons will be glad to explain it:

Yeah, I get all my electorial wisdom from The Simpsons.

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