Off to the races in Iowa

After nearly a year of politicking, the Hawkeye State caucuses are finally here. And things are looking awfully good for Mitt Romney

Edward Morrissey

On Tuesday evening, Iowans will brave cold temperatures and strong winds to gather at their local precincts, listen to the last political speeches they will have to hear in the state for months, and then decide which Republican to support in the 2012 presidential race. Soon, the rest of the nation will stop bothering Iowa, and start stalking New Hampshire in the week leading up to the Granite State's Jan. 10 primary. The media, the consultants, the volunteers, and especially the candidates will flee the Hawkeye State… and every single one of them will claim some sort of victory or vindication with the results, whatever they may be.

The run-up to the caucuses has been a most curious spectacle, not just this year, but every four years for the last few decades, and not just because the caucus is actually non-binding. That's right: There are no presidential convention delegates assigned from Tuesday's results. Instead, the attendees will cast votes in a non-binding presidential preference ballot while choosing county delegates to a March convention, which will choose delegates to the state Republican convention in the spring. Delegates to the national convention get chosen at that time, separately from the caucuses. Mike Huckabee won the caucus four years ago, but John McCain secured all 28 Iowa delegates months before the 2008 convention.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.