CORN KING: Romney Outkernels Obama

Price Of Politics

Iowans crushed corn records at our “Cast Your Kernel” booth. Republican Presidential Mitt Romney easily bested Democrat Barack Obama in the head-to-head matchup. Here are the results:

Romney–55% (39,714)

Obama–45% (32,502)

The 72,216 total kernel votes cast far outweighs 2008’s total of 48,865. That year Obama beat Republican John McCain 51-49%.

I’ve received numerous emails about corn totals from other years and what the results mean. Obviously, Cast Your Kernel is unscientific. We try to restrict it to people who are at least 18 years of age by election day. And, no, we don’t ask for identification. The results do seem to offer a pretty good snapshot of voters’ thinking at that particular time.

We tend to have more votes for Republicans than Democrats, perhaps, not surprising when you consider the number of rural Iowans who attend the fair. Obviously, Obama’s 2008 total offers an exception to the Republican stronger showing (at least when it comes to the final numbers). But it might also show his overall strength in the state as he later beat McCain by about 9% in the general election (where they don’t use corn).

Last year, we let people vote for one of the most-mentioned Republican candidates/possible candidates for president, along with a jar for President Obama. This previous blog gives the details. But about 60% of the votes went to the Republicans. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman took the top spot. Her campaign imploded later. However, Bachman did lead in the statewide polls for a bit and she won the Republican Party of Iowa’s Straw Poll in Ames, which took place during the fair. Romney, by the way, finished tied for 3rd with Ron Paul.

So does Romney’s big win mean he’s headed to an Iowa victory this November, too? His total does show a big shift from the Obama vs. McCain numbers 4 years. Maybe this shows greater anti-Obama strength this time? Traditional polls show Iowa is essentially a tie right now. 

Again, I caution, our poll is unscientific. We did just see the president travel Iowa for 3 straight days, so they clearly know Iowa will be a fight this year. In case you wondered, the president skipped our booth this year (he stopped by as a candidate 4 years ago and voted for himself). That could have been one more kernel in your jar this year, too, Mr. President. Romney didn’t come by either. But he skipped the fair altogether. His new running mate, Paul Ryan was less than a block away. But he skipped us, too.

No candidate love for the corn this year. But at least Iowans voted by the bushel. See you next year.  

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