Iowa GOP Chairman Resigns After Caucus Counting Disaster

he rather incompetently handled aftermath of the Iowa Caucuses has claimed a victim:

DES MOINES – The chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa announced his resignation on Tuesday after mounting pressure over his handling of the results of the caucuses that kicked off the presidential nominating process this month.

The chairman, Matthew N. Strawn, who will step down next week, was at the center of a series of embarrassing reversals over who won the party-run vote, which had the highest attendance and narrowest margin of victory in state history.

He initially called Mitt Romney the winner over Rick Santorum/ He later said a winner could not be determined because of mistakes exposed during the certification process, and finally acknowledged that Mr. Santorum had finished with more votes.

The certification process found that results from 131 of 1,774 precincts had been recorded incorrectly, changing an eight-vote lead for Mr. Romney into a 34-vote lead for Mr. Santorum, according to the party. In addition, eight precincts failed to report their results, though they would have expanded Mr. Santorum’s lead.

The confusion prompted ongoing concern that the party, by highlighting the errors that have often occurred in the volunteer-run caucuses, may have jeopardized Iowa’s prized first-in-the-nation voting status, a distinction that has given the state an outsize influence in national politics.

Craig Robinson, a former party official who edits the Iowa Republican, a conservative Web site, wrote on Tuesday that the actions had created a “cloud of suspicion.”

“With Strawn now gone, the Republican Party of Iowa needs to focus on rebuilding the credibility of the caucus process,” Mr. Robinson wrote.

How do you rebuild the credibility of a process that had almost no credibility to begin with? Sorry Iowa, but you’re not getting off that easily. If 2012 proved anything its that the caucus process is a joke and your first-in-the-nation status is a privilege that needs to be taken away.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    In the Austro Hungarian Empire these things were done properly. You were given a revolver and expected to take the appropriate action.

  2. de stijl says:

    Sorry Iowa, but you’re not getting off that easily.

    Why do you keep conflating the Iowa Republican Party with the state of Iowa?

  3. @de stijl:

    Because it’s all part of the same thing. The caucuses are absurd. Iowa going first is absurd. If the Iowa GOP’s errors helped set in motion the process that ends that absurdity, they deserve everyone’s thanks.

  4. James says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Iowa is about winnowing, has always been about winnowing, and will always be about winnowing. Why is that so hard for you to grasp?

  5. A voice from another precinct says:

    Isn’t the idea that “first in the nation” is some kind of a bell-weather marker the thing that’s really absurd here?

  6. superdestroyer says:

    Don’t virtually all close elections show that the any election campaign does not work very well. Voting and polling look fine when the winner wins by a large margin. However, very close elections show that the system is not perfect and can easily be gamed.

    Look at how cerrtain groups have insisted on going back to all paper ballot in order to make close elections more uncertain.