Hi Shimin, Your are right that in many ways - demographics, the fact that it is a caucus state, geographically - Iowa is not particularly representative of the electorate more generally. In particular, those who participate in the caucus tend to have more ideologically extreme views (either conservative or liberal, depending on party) than the mainstream partisan holds. However, because it is traditionally the first state that actually has a vote in the nominating process, it gets a disproportionate amount of news coverage and, as a result, while the caucus winner does not always go on to win the nomination, those who finish down in the pack are frequently forced to drop out of the race. Is that "fair"? Defenders of the process argue that candidates must engage in door-to-door retail politics to win votes, so it is the quintessential democratic process. But critics argue that because the state is not very representative of voters more generally, it does not deserve the importance the media places on it. There are merits to both arguments. It is a reminder that almost any selection process will have biases of some type - the key is balancing them against its virtues, and deciding what is most important in a nominating process. Not everyone is going to agree on the answer.

by Matt Dickinson (not verified)