Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lack of Hotel Space in Des Moines in 1972 Boosts Santorum

If Rick Santorum pulls off an upset in Iowa tonight and then becomes the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, he'll have the general lack of hotel space in Des Moines in the early 1970s to thank for his good fortune.

You heard me right.

It turns out that the reason Iowa is the first to "vote" (they aren't really voting as it is a caucus and there are no delegates at stake tonight but that's a different matter) can be traced back to the 1972 decision to move the Iowa Caucuses earlier because of an anticipated lack of hotel space in Des Moines in June 1972. David Redlawsk outlines the story here and the way in which the Carter campaign took advantage of this in 1976 and the rest is history.

In any case, this quirk of history means Iowa goes first and that means candidates with Santorum's profile have a good chance to emerge from the pack.

We'll see if he cashes in on poor planning by Iowa hotel developers from 40 years ago later tonight!


Jonathan Keller said...

Good post, Larry. If people want more in depth info on the IA Caucus' history, and it's arcane rules, btw, chapter 3 of the Redlawsk, et al book is a very good read:


Jonathan Keller said...
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