The Iowa Caucuses Are a Joke
Gail Collins: Do you really care what 100K people think about the race?
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2011 12:12 PM CST
Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop at the Coralville City Hall, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, in Coralville, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(Newser) – The Iowa caucuses are mere days away, so "perhaps this would be a good time to point out that the Iowa caucuses are really ridiculous," writes Gail Collins in the New York Times. They’re restricted, after all, to those willing to go to a neighborhood meeting at exactly 7pm on Jan. 3, and listen to speeches for each candidate. Republicans expect around 100,000 to show, which is about how many attend your average University of Michigan football game. "However, the Wolverines’ fans do not get free cookies," Collins points out.

Of course, not every local caucus draws a big crowd. "History suggests that in some rural districts, the entire caucus will consist of one guy named Earl," Collins continues. History also suggests that Iowa caucus-goers "are older, wealthier, and whiter than American voters in general, and more politically extreme than the average Iowa Republican." On Tuesday, those people will pick their favorite candidate. "The whole world will be watching. The cookies will be excellent."