The Associated Press reports that the Iowa caucuses may play a less important role in the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination process than it has in the past. The AP’s Mike Glover reports that “some” are “wondering if the Iowa Republican party’s shift to the right is scaring off some hopefuls and making the Iowa caucuses less competitive — and less important.”
“Some” turns out to be the spokesman for Mitt Romney (whose 2008 campaign was largely derailed by a devastating second place finish in Iowa) and Mark Salter, a long-time advisor to Senator John McCain, who skipped the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and, thanks to the implosion of everyone else’s campaigns, went on to win the GOP presidential nomination.
The notion that the state party leadership in Iowa is “too right wing” or “too socially conservative” for the 2012 GOP field is a novel idea. Last we checked, the GOP field is not exactly brimming with Rockefeller Republicans. The only reason any one of them would skip Iowa is if they thought they could get away with it. But they can’t, because if they skip Iowa, they fall out of news coverage for 17-21 days at exactly the moment when they need news coverage most.
All that being true, don’t look for many (or any) of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates to skip next year’s Iowa caucuses. The road to the White House still starts in Des Moines.
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