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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 22, 2011
What’s Ahead Dec. 22: UI’s Lewis-Beck sees Iowa as right place to start the nomination process

He’s not getting as much attention as his University of Iowa colleague Stephen Bloom, but Michael Lewis-Beck has offered a defense of the Iowa caucuses and their first-in-the nation status.

The political science professor emeritus, who co-authored “The American Voter Revisited,” a look at the polarization of voters in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, calls Iowa a natural place to start the nomination process.

Based on research conducted with former UI political scientist Peverill Squire, Lewis-Beck published argues in The American Prospect that in terms of its economic characteristics, Iowa may be the most representative state.

His post pushes back against the quadrennial arguments hat Iowa shouldn’t be the lead-off state in the nomination process because it is some sort of outlier rather than a representative sample of the nation. In particular, it seems to rebut the New York Times comments by A.G. Sulzberger that Iowa “is an odd staging ground for an election that is often said to be all about jobs and the economy.”

Iowa, according to Lewis-Beck and Squire “appears to be more representative of the mix of economic forces operating within a state than any other.”

He wrote:

“On the economic dimension, then, the Iowa representation hypothesis is fully sustained. Once state economies are measured by multiple relevant indicators, Iowa is most representative of all the states. Its cross-section of economic forces, especially within the controlled context of the socio-political factors, best mirrors the general strengths and weaknesses at work in an American state economy. If one state must lead the presidential candidate selection process, then Iowa seems an ideal selection in terms of the economy. Identification of the preferred ‘first state’ with respect to the economic dimension seems paramount, given the abiding importance of the economy for the vote generally in American elections.”

That seems to square with a U.S. News & World report that Iowa is the 12th most representative state based on social factors, economy and diversity. While Iowa GOP politics range from far-right to centrist, U.S. News noted the national party has moved in a conservative direction, making it more closely aligned with the Iowa brand of Republicanism.

Coincidentally, Bloom is a visiting professor at the university that hosts the University of Michigan Press that published “The American Voter Revisited.”

Small world.

On the calendar:

Dec. 22

Rick Perry, 9 a.m., Drake on the Waterfront, Burlington; noon, Kuhly’s Bar & Grill, Ottumwa; 3:30 p.m., employee town hall, TPI, Newton

Ron Paul, 10 a.m., Historic Clinton Engines Building, Maquoketa; noon, Grand River Center, Dubuque, 3 p.m., Delaware County Fairgrounds, Manchester; 7 p.m., Hotel Kirkwood, Cedar Rapids

Michele Bachmann, 9:25, National Motorcycle Museum, Anamosa; 10:55 a.m., Pizza Ranch, Vinton; 12:10 p.m., Southard Implement Co., Tama; 1:05 p.m., Brooklyn Public Library; 1:55 p.m., Doose Café, Marengo; 3 p.m., Hamburg Inn, 214 N. Linn, Iowa City; 5:10 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Sigourney; 6:05 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Oskaloosa; 7:15 p.m., Mom’s Place, Albia; 8:15 p.m., Country Kitchen, Ottumwa

Dec. 23

Michele Bachmann, 9 a.m., Oasis Coffee House, Bloomfield; 10 a.m., Tangleberries, Centerville; 11 a.m., Lodge Pizza & Steakhouse, Corydon; 12:15 p.m., Papa Leo’s, Chariton; 1:40 p.m., Christian Opportunity Center, Pella; 2:50 p.m., Uncle Nancy’s Coffee House, Newton

Dec. 27

Rick Perry, 10:45 a.m., Main Street Café, Council Bluffs; 1:15 p.m., Glenn Miller Museum, Clarinda; 3:30 p.m., Adams Street Espresso, Creston; 5 :30 p.m., Clarke County REC, Osceola

Newt Gingrich, Iowa

Dec. 28

Rick Perry, 7 a.m., Westside Conservative Club, Machine Shed Restaurant, Urbandale; 1:30 p.m., The Sports Page, Indianola; 3:30 p.m. Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Pella; 5 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Oskaloosa

Ron Paul, noon, Iowa Speedway Media Center, Newton; 3 p.m., employee meeting at GuideOne Insurance, West Des Moines; 7 p.m., salute to veterans, Knapp Learning Center, Iowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines

Dec. 29

Rick Perry, 10 a.m., Coffee Corner, Washington; 12:30 p.m., Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids; 5:30 p.m., Fisher Community Center Auditorium, Marshalltown

Ron Paul, noon, Hotel Pattee, Perry; 3 p.m., Cass County Community Center, Atlantic; 7 p.m., Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs

Dec. 30

Rick Perry, noon, Doughy Joey’s, 300 W. 4th St, Waterloo; 2:45 p.m., Fainting Goat, Waverly; 5:30 p.m., Cerro Gordo County GOP fundraiser, Mason City County Club

Newt Gingrich, 10 a.m., Moms Matter Coffee Break, Java Joe’s, Des Moines

Ron Paul, 1 p.m., Le Mars Convention Center; 3 p.m., Sioux Center Public Library’ 7 p.m., River Bend Convention Center/Stoney Creek Inn, Sioux Center

Dec. 31

Rick Perry, 10:30 a.m., Bloomers at Central Coffee Shop, Fort Dodge; 12:45 p.m., Dutch Oven Bakery, Boone



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