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Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024
Good morning to you!

Votes can’t be bought. Or can they?

In case you haven’t heard, the Iowa presidential caucuses for the Republican party were last night. This circus puts our humble state on the national map for a few months. Now that it’s over, we blend back into normalcy. For many Iowans, including me, that can’t get here fast enough. But for the hardcore Republicans who were willing to face below-zero temps and make their case for Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley or whoever, this was go time.

Do you wonder how many Iowans participated in the Republican caucuses this year and historically? In 2020, an uncontested caucus, the turnout was 32,345. More relevantly, the last contested GOP caucus was in 2016 and had approximately 187,000 votes cast. In 2012, that number was 122,000. In 2008, it was 119,000. This year brought about 111,000 in, as the cold weather apparently kept some folks on their sofas.

Iowa has a population of nearly 2.5 million who are 18 years of age or older. So, with that in mind, about 4.4% of adult Iowans participate in the Republican presidential caucuses. As many of you know, only registered Republicans can participate in the Iowa Republican caucuses. Iowa has about 752,000 registered Republicans, which makes the percent of those who take part in the Iowa caucuses at 14.7%. Again, all this translates to 111,000 people, give or take.

You may wonder how much is spent in advertising to convince these 111,000 people to vote for their candidate. Estimates are that a staggering $105 million was spent in Iowa on TV advertising alone, which continues to be the medium of choice to reach the undecided and often uneducated voters. The $105 million doesn’t include the printing and postage of the dozens and dozens of mailers like the ones in my mailbox. As an independent, I am not one of the 752,000 registered Republicans. Meanwhile, the campaigns keep spending money to reach me, too.

I may be losing some of you with the math, but you can guess where I am going with this. The Republican presidential political campaigns have spent more than $945 for each and every one of the 111,000 people they are attempting to persuade with TV ads alone. One hundred million dollars is a lot of money to spend in one state for a few months to persuade 111,000 people to vote for them, especially when many who go into the process have their minds already made up.

The dollars spent to influence such a small number tell a story, and it’s not necessarily a good one. Can the votes of Iowans be bought? With enough TV advertising, and for at least some undecided Iowans, apparently so. Was it worth it? Time will tell.

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Our cold week continues, though temps get a touch warmer midweek. We have a slight, light snow chance Thursday evening into Friday before temperatures fall again.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!
Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
3305 S.E. Glenstone Drive, Unit 142,
Grimes, IA 50111
A unique floorplan for this neighborhood and in excellent condition. The 1,712 square feet is all on one level with no stairs and zero entry front door. With vaulted ceilings and many windows, there is wonderful natural light and open, spacious living space. The living room offers a gas fireplace, and the kitchen has plenty of cabinets for storage along with a pantry and plenty of counters for workspace.
See More Homes For Sale
CITYVIEW: Winter arts and entertainment guide

With the first El Niño event set to hit since 2019, this winter is projected to be unseasonably warm. Above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation on the horizon give everyone a reason to leave the house, and our guide will tell you where to go.


The world's most expensive cheese comes from Balkan donkeys. That breed produces little milk with unique characteristics. Pule cheese, also known as magareći sir, is cut with 40% goats' milk and is priced at 1100 euros per kilo. (Fox News)

Wonder why Iowa's cattle production slipped from #1 to #9? The National Weather Desk reports that cattle need far more food in cold weather and that it does not translate to body weight, it's burnt to survive. Texas is now the leader.

Fresh Chilean Coho salmon are on sale today ($5.99 lb.) at Fresh Thyme (2900 University, West Des Moines).

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Trump wins Iowa, DeSantis second

DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump dominated the 2024 Iowa Republican caucuses. With 97% of the votes counted at 11:15 p.m., the former president sat at 51.1%, a mark that would smash the record for a contested Iowa Republican caucus with a margin of victory exceeding the nearly 13 percentage points that Bob Dole won by in 1988....READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Fran McCaffery becomes Hawkeyes’ winningest coach with road win against Gophers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ben Krikke scored 25 points, Josh Dix, who got the start in place of an injured Patrick McCaffery, added 21 points and Iowa beat Minnesota 86-77 on Monday night to make Fran McCaffery the winningest coach in program history..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Iowa caucus results: Why Democrats won't announce a winner until March

IOWA, USA — Don't hold your breath waiting for Iowa Democrats to release caucus results Monday night: the official totals won't come out until March.
While Iowa Democrats will still hold caucuses on Jan. 15, those meetings will be strictly for party business. The presidential nominating part of the caucuses will be done via a mail-in presidential preference card, with results expected to be released on March 5 — Super Tuesday.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Dan Juffer!

These celebrities were born on this date: A.J. Foyt, David Chokachi, Debbie Allen, Joe Flacco, John Carpenter, Jonathan Mangum, Josie Davis, Kate Moss, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Nick Valensi, Renee Felice Smith, Richard T. Jones, Ronnie Milsap, Sade

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Which classical dessert comes out of a musical volcano? BACH-LAVA! - Gail Tomlinson, John Zeitler, Judy Anderson, Rex Post

Today's riddle

How did the farmer with a bad Internet connection do to solve the issue?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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