Tug of War In the Heartland

The GOP Iowa is a house divided against itself.  That is main take away from this piece in the Washington Post.  Without going into too much of what was said on Friday night you can rest assured it is going to be a very bumpy ride to the caucuses.

The main division is between supporters of Iowa Governor Branstad and activists from the RonPaul campaign who are taking over the party at the precinct and committee level.  These fights are going to play out in a number of ways.

One big one is going to be over the fate of the Iowa Straw Poll.  Branstad wants to kill that so bad he can taste it.  He knows it is more suited to the party’s activist base over the favorites of the business community.

In contrast, Tea Partiers and Evangelicals like the event because it allows them to flex their political muscle in front of the national media.  Candidates like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have been given a boost by the event, even when they didn’t win, while losses have crippled people like Tim Pawlenty.

In this fight between Branstad and the Paulites the fate of the straw poll will tell you who is winning.  Either way the bad blood is going to shape the caucuses.



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