I'm from Iowa, you think we like the candidates invading our state earlier and earlier every year? Well when it was President Bush or Al Gore visiting, we got a little excited about the pomp and circumstance, but hearing about Edwards' 12th visit or some hick from Arkansas or New Mexico visiting Des Moines, we really get peeved. Moving up Iowa's primary date will only make this worse, and here's why keeping it the same will make the process better.
South Carolina is just the latest of several key states that have moved up their presidential primaries. More and more states are moving their primaries to the beginning of the 2008 calendar year seeking to draw some of the attention from Iowa - it isn't working. The candidates are still focused on Iowa, and this is a good thing. Iowa represents main stream America and that's a good place to gauge how the contenders are doing. We have the two most separated senators but the state is pretty much evenly divided during presidential campaigns. We're good where we are because we're a moderate state but not beholden to any particular ideology.
The second reason we shouldn't move our primary is because other states will be too intimidated to move past us. There would be a huge uproar from any number of folks from the presidential candidates to interested parties in Iowa. This won't happen as long as Iowa stands strong. Instead, what is happening is a consolidation of the major primaries in just a few weeks. The process has something to gain from this, i.e. fewer stories with mentions of Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, and Tom Tancredo. The sooner those guys are eliminated, the sooner Mecca and Medina can rest safe, and parks everywhere will no longer feel humiliated.
I think its long past the days when we could hope campaigns would only last a year. Now, they begin as soon as that last ballot is cast in the midterm elections, and in some cases earlier. Until campaign finance laws are changed, candidates will be jumping the gun earlier and earlier every year. The only way to put a halt on this absurd process is to at least keep the primaries in same calendar year as the election. Knocking off people like Kucinich and Tancredo will allow the real candidates to have a better, more engaging debate about the relevant issues.