Damn you, Iowa! Make up your mind! First you have that traditional and much-anticipated straw poll of yours every four years preceding official presidential election years. Then Republicans complain earlier in 2015 about how much your state GOP charges them to participate in that straw poll. Then you cancel that poll.
But then you wind up doing it this year anyway, even adding a corn poll to your straw poll? And despite the fact that real, actual polls were just conducted in your state, too? Come on, Hawkeyes!
But that’s what happened at the still-ongoing Iowa State Fair of 2015. And here are the counts – the trivial, non-scientific, non-predicting results of Iowa’s (non-poll) “Straw Poll,” conducted August 13-15.
For the Democratic candidates:
That’s a quick improvement for Bernie Sanders, the independent senator-turned-Democratic presidential candidate, who was reportedly tied with Hillary Clinton after the second day of this three-day poll. A last-day surge on August 15 gave Vermont’s senior senator an 11.7-percent lead at the close.
Clinton didn’t participate in the festivities in full, however. Instead of speaking from The Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox, like other candidates did, she limited her presence to handshakes with fair attendees and a separate press conference. Meanwhile, Sanders drew the largest crowd of all candidates when he spoke from the Soapbox.
For the Republican candidates (and just to make that slate even more bizarre, Iowa expanded it to 18 with some non-declared maybes):
Unsurprisingly, The Donald maintained the lead. Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, who are battling for second place in official national polls, slipped to sixth and seventh respectively, however, in the Iowa Straw Poll. Ben Carson took an impressive second-place status, and even rear-runner Carly Fiorina shot up to a respectable third place in this one.
But these particular polls are rather meaningless. It’s not the official “Iowa Straw Poll,” after all, which was officially cancelled in June after being conducted by that state’s Republican Party since 1979. (Mike Huckabee’s complaints in May about the high cost charged by the Iowa GOP certainly helped that official straw poll kick the bucket.) This was an event in which anyone of any party could participate. Shoot, an escaped convict from Nebraska could have voted in this weekend’s poll at the Iowa State Fair.
It wasn’t the only one at that same time and place, either. Des Moines’ NBC affiliate WHO-13 did its own “Corn Caucus” at the state fair, too, which used a corny calculation of the number of corn kernels dropped into containers that bore the candidates’ names. But that poll has no bearing, either. Even an escapee from a juvenile home in Nebraska could participate in that Iowa “Corn Caucus.” And multiple times. Anyone of any age could participate, and with no vote limit. But just for the record, here are those results (which, thankfully, only list the top-scoring candidates).
For the Democratic candidates:
For the Republican candidates:
While the Democrats switched in top runners, the GOP results for the “Corn Caucus” are similar to the “Straw Poll,” with Huckabee moving up to third.
And then there’s the results of an actual poll, recently conducted by an actual pollster in the Hawkeye State. (Note: No escaped convict of any state could participate. CNN limited it to actual registered Iowa voters.)
For the Democrats, CNN’s August 7-11 poll results are:
Notice that Joe Biden, still undeclared, takes a hefty 12-percent third place.
For the Republicans (and notice that CNN kept it to the 15 declared candidates):
Trump leads in the third (and most official) of Iowa polls, too. Carson’s recent surge is confirmed, holding the same second place in all three (but only fourth nationally). Rounding out the top three, Walker holds third place in CNN’s poll of Iowa Republican voters.
Of course, all three of the results only reflect upon the race in Iowa (…with or without aid from escaped convicts). The national results? Well, you’re probably sick of looking at all these cheesy charts. And as for their accuracy? Everyone knows they can change any day!
Featured image public domain via Wikimedia