On Thursday night, the Iowa Democratic Party released the final results of its caucus vote held on Monday. Somehow, there is still no clear winner. Pete Buttigieg is sort of ahead of Bernie Sanders in terms of delegates, but at the same time, maybe not.
Something like that.
Meanwhile, Sanders has the most votes and was the most preferred candidate each time those people stood around in a gym or cafeteria and moved in different circles as an actual means of choosing a person to run for President of the United States of America in this maddeningly archaic process.
Of course, by Thursday night, those delayed results were moot. Not only had most already moved on, whatever political benefits that would have gone to the victor (apparently open to interpretation in select circles), have long been lost. Worse, hours before the Iowa Democratic Party shared their final results, major news organizations found potential errors and inconsistencies in their accounting, only further raising questions of the caucus’ legitimacy.
However, while I can understand why Bernie and Pete might continue to care about the final results and who won what exactly, by Monday night, everyone else should have focused on the fact that for all the fixation on the Iowa Caucus because they’re white, turnout was low.
The same night the results were released, Rachel Maddow asked Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez about early data showing the 2020 caucus attendance looked to be on pace with 2016, when 172,000 participated. In 2008, there were nearly 240,000 voters.
“When I look at the numbers broadly, big Democratic numbers in Iowa, in the Iowa caucuses tend to translate into Democrat Party wins in the general election,” Maddow explained. “Are Democrats not enthusiastic enough about voting and is that what those turnout numbers mean?”
Perez denied that there was a lack of enthusiasm, pointing to the turnout in the 2018 midterm elections as well as the special elections in 2017 and 2019. Maddow’s response was “But they didn’t come out in droves in Iowa” while adding “and this was the first chance in the presidential race for Democrats to show their stuff and they didn’t turn out.”
I don’t think it’s so much that Democrats aren’t engaged and enthusiastic, but rather which Democrats have gotten most of the attention thus far and why those Democrats are less concerned about defeating Trump.
In the same week of the lower than anticipated turnout for the Iowa Caucus, Gallup released a new survey showing Donald Trump’s job approval rating has risen to 49%, his highest in Gallup polling since he took office in 2017. Also, 51% of Americans view the Republican Party favorably, up from 43 percent last September.
After everything, he is now more popular than ever. Is that not terrifying? This poll could be an outlier, but it shouldn’t blind anyone to a reality we know to be true: most white people are fine with Trump’s racism because they either completely agree with him, or if nothing else, are not bothered by it because all they care about ultimately is who benefits them financially. The working-class whites who vote against their economic interests because the highs from their racist ego boosts are too sweet to let go of getting all the attention, but Trump won a plurality white voters in every age group in 2016.
Not all white people are racist, but the majority of white people will let a white supremacist ruin our lives all the same.
Black people have long known this, but the Democratic Party, along with the rest of national media, have spent this entire nightmare of an administration thus far chasing Trump voters who eat in diners instead of the Black and Brown folk who could actually help their goofy selves win.
Now, imagine if the first primary were held in a state like California, which is a state that is diverse ethnically and politically, offers early voting, and really embodies what the Democratic Party claims to be all about. Or Georgia, which is also diverse ethnically and politically and would have allowed Democrats to gain a footing in a state that could go Democratic later this year. Or anywhere where there are more people who are more likely to be directly harmed by Donald Trump and his administration.
But no, they went with Iowa, a state I can appreciate given T-Boz is from Des Moines, but in terms of influence, should have never mattered as much as it did. Yet, we know why they did. So, sorry to those voters who did spend hours participating in the caucus, but the Democratic Party deserves this move.
Unfortunately, marginalized people do not deserve Donald Trump so here’s hoping the Democrats learn before it’s too late that their fixation on white voters will help that racist game show host who scammed his way into the presidency become America’s first Führer — to our detriment more than theirs.