Don't mess with the Iowa Caucuses, Gov. says
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says candidates shouldn't skip Iowa.
February 8th, 2011
10:08 AM ET
3 years ago

Don't mess with the Iowa Caucuses, Gov. says

Washington (CNN) - Don't mess with Iowa.

That's the message Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is delivering to potential presidential candidates who may be tempted to take a pass when it comes to competing in the first-in-the-nation Caucus state where organization can be exceedingly expensive and complicated.

"The first real contest is the Iowa Caucuses and I would certainly urge candidates not to take that for granted," Branstad told Radio Iowa."And those that have in the past I think have regretted it."

The advantages of skipping Iowa are certainly tempting in terms of saved resources and the fallout from a poor showing. But that strategy proved to be a poor one for Rudy Giuliani in 2008, who after skipping both Iowa and New Hampshire was viewed as an also-ran by the time other primaries rolled around.

Conversely, many think Hillary Clinton would have been a better position had she chosen not to compete in Iowa and focus solely on New Hampshire and other early primaries. Instead, Clinton invested heavily in Iowa in 2008 and placed third - a showing that nearly proved fatal for the then-New York senator.

Branstad's comments came a day after Illinois Republican Party announced they plan to hold a state-wide straw poll in November, three months before the Iowa Caucuses. Though the results will be non-binding, candidates could be tempted to divert resources that Midwestern state instead of Iowa.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Terry Branstad
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Remember, when visiting Iowa, be sure to set your watch back 20 years.

    February 8, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Republicans = Fascists -aka- ReFascisticans

    I don't see a ReFascistican out there that can win Iowa in the general election. The Great White Hype Romney may be the only true contender. Even if Huntsman decides to run, he'll be marginalized for being part of the administration.

    February 8, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Mr. Moderate

    Yes governor, a small percentage of the population of one of the smallest and most homogeneous states in the country should have an extremely disproportionate share in who rest of us get to choose a president. Time to do away with the nonsense and give a voice to a large more representative selection of Americans – rotating regional primaries.

    February 8, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Iowa, has too much power in the primary process, and I am all for putting an end to that, myself.

    February 8, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. cawnaw

    If IOWA takes away marriage rights from Gay people I would hope that no real presidential candidate would spent time or money to campaign in IOWA

    February 8, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Steve Oehmen

    Yeah, you guys are sooooooooooooo important. Get over yourselves!! The best thing out of Iowa is still I-80.

    February 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. ThinkAgain

    This whole Iowa caucus thing is ridiculous! Americans need to stop being so co-dependent and start thinking for themselves. One little corn states decides the outcome of our presidential election? GET REAL!

    February 8, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |