The Iowa Caucus Shows That The Republican Party And The Media Are Both Broken
The Iowa Caucus showed how broken the Republican Party has become and revealed the glaring flaws in the media's election coverage.
The Daily is a 100% independent and reader-supported newsletter. The Iowa caucus revealed how important independent sources committed to truth and democracy are, and we could use your help. If you value our work, please consider becoming a subscriber.
Be honest. How much coverage of the Iowa caucus did you watch on cable news?
The Iowa caucus results could have been predicted four years ago. Trump was always going to win and he was going to win big. Yet, here was the media for days pretending like there was any intrigue to the caucus. The cable news networks had their big boards glowing and top talent amassed around tables ready to have serious conversations about ‘what it all means,’ but there was nothing to discuss. To quote the Talking Heads, it was the same as it ever was in Iowa, and nobody wanted to discuss reality.
The Republican Party Is Gone
Trump winning Iowa was a foregone conclusion because Iowa has all the demographics of Trump’s base. Iowa is white, rural, and conservative. Throw in a caucus system that is undemocratic and exclusionary by design, and it is the perfect combo for a big Trump win.
One of the points that cable news ignored was the power of the presidency. For hours, the networks compared Trump’s Iowa performance in 2016 to 2024, but there was one big difference that the coverage ignored. Trump was able to dominate Iowa because he has the power of being a former president, and the gravitas that comes with that status, along with the organization and perks of having been president, gave Trump a sizable advantage.
If Trump was facing serious opposition, they could negate that advantage by talking about the indictments, the criminal cases, the impeachments, the corruption, and the misconduct of Donald Trump.
However, Trump’s opposition isn’t serious. Trump’s primary opponents are either positioning themselves for 2028 or looking for a job in a potential new Trump administration.
In this respect, the Republican primary is a fraud that the media is happy to play along with. Iowa showed that the Republican Party is gone. The caucus was an empty exercise. It was going through the motions of democracy without being democratic, and cable news happily played along by treating Iowa like a credible political event.