Iowa political insiders are concerned that the influence of the state will be diminished during the 2016 presidential cycle amid a small Democratic field and a sprawling Republican one, Politico reported
Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus has been of paramount importance to candidates for a generation, often setting the fortunes for the top competitors leading into the primary cycle. But there's anxiety in political circles that there will be less interest if the nature of a crowded race causes candidates to focus their resources elsewhere.
On the Republican side, there is concern that the perceived front-runner, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has yet to sign up for the 99-county tour that has long been a rite of passage for candidates determined to prove their dedication to the state.
There are also concerns about whether the Iowa Straw Poll, set for Aug. 8, will draw attention. So far Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio have both declined, as has former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Only Donald Trump has expressed a tentative interest while others have remained mum about possible participation, according to Politico.
"These days, without the top candidates competing, the straw poll simultaneously does little to encourage weaker candidates to take part and nothing to encourage them to give in to the political reality," Politico said.
In sum, the event is unlikely to be influential in weeding out candidates like it has in the past.
Meanwhile, the first Republican debate is scheduled for two days before the straw poll, potentially having more of a political impact than the event.
"The national debate cut-off nationalizes the race, diminishing Iowa's role in vetting and vaunting long shots," Doug Gross, the GOP's 2002 nominee for governor and former adviser to Mitt Romney's Iowa campaign, told Politico.
Democrats in Iowa are also concerned that the primary events in the state will not hold sway.
"The Iowan existential crisis, of course, isn't limited to Republicans. Democrats have their own problem: What if the caucus contest isn't one?" Politico concluded.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.