The Iowa caucuses are a fraud
Why are the Iowa Republican caucuses given such importance? Because, after endless-seeming months of debates and straw polls and opinion polls and predictions, they represent the first time in the presidential campaign that Republican voters actually cast votes for delegates to the Republican National Convention who will be pledged to vote for a certain Republican candidate for the Republican nomination.
Why, then, do I call the Iowa Republican caucuses a fraud? Because, violating all logic, violating the very idea of democratic elections and self-government (in this case, the self-government of the Republican Party), non-Republicans, namely Independents, are allowed to participate and vote in the Republican caucuses. Not only that, but, according to entrance polls, 25 percent of the persons who went to the caucuses this evening were Independents. The caucuses, then, are a flat-out contradiction of what they purport to be and are supposed to be. Yet everyone ignores this and acts as though the caucuses are the first and most important official index of what Republican voters want.
And guess what? The other most important state vote in the Republican campaign, in New Hampshire next week, will also be open to non-Republicans, and if I remember correctly, it will be open not just to Independents, but to Democrats.