More People Voted On A Kim Kardashian Tweet Than Caucused In Iowa
Let's put Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton's victories in perspective
More than one important, nation-defining poll kicked off on Monday in America. While politicians squabbled for the feels of the people of Iowa, serious matters were being decided on the internet, where real life happens. Kim Kardashian, a global megastar in her own right but also wife to musician and tweet-charmer Kanye West, summoned the powers of democracy to help name her husband’s forthcoming album. And while America’s (supposedly) most important politicians (supposedly) managed to cajole 350,000 people out to choose their nominee at Monday’s Iowa caucus, that number was quickly overshadowed. More people cast a ballot for Kanye West’s new album title than voted in phase one of choosing America’s next president—439,102 of them, in fact.
Now to be fair, it’s much easier to participate in a Twitter poll than it is rise up off your couch, find your car keys and alternate putting your foot on the gas and brake pedals until you reach your local caucus site. But when you break it down further, your faith in the democratic process may wane even more. Among the most-hyped storylines of the night, Senator Ted Cruz’s surprise victory stood out. He bumped Republican perma-winner Donald Trump off his pedestal to take home the most votes, snatch the impetus and race on to New Hampshire as the form favorite. Doing so meant attracting a relatively paltry 51,649 votes last night in the Hawkeye State, however. And while Iowa’s caucus was a record-breaker in terms of Republican turnout (50 percent more than any other caucus ever), Cruz’s winning tally looks sadly small when you put it in perspective. Iowa is home to more than 615,000 registered Republicans, just over 8 percent of whom voted for Ted Cruz on Monday—that’s 1.7 percent of Iowa residents who sided with the Texan Senator last night.
Paltry vote counts aside, that’s how politics works in America, and the win couldn’t hold more importance for the Cruz camp. 43 percent of recent GOP Iowa caucus winners have gone on to be the nominee, and the early victory gives Cruz a huge wave of momentum going into what should be a fierce month on the campaign trail. Perhaps the most fascinating part of Monday night though, is just how much power 51,649 people in the middle of a country can hold—a crowd not big enough to fill an NFL stadium, let alone sway how Kanye West names his next album.
Yeezy 2020, baby.