Professor Johnson discussed the Iowa Caucuses with Craig Robinson, founder and editor-in-chief of The Iowa Republican. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator.
Jason Johnson was interviewed by the Minneapolis City Pages for the article “Michelle Bachmann’s Fall From Grace” in advance of the Iowa Caucus.
Johnson noted that Bachmann’s failure to broaden her message after winning the Ames Straw Poll was a strategic mistake:
The problem was that Bachmann didn’t readjust after the straw poll to move beyond the Tea Party and target more moderate Republicans, says Jason Johnson, political science professor at Hiram College in Ohio.
“You’re supposed to go out and say, ‘The people have spoken, I am electable. I am electable,’ and she didn’t do that,” says Johnson. “She didn’t use that to take chunks out of Mitt Romney.”
Johnson also criticized Bachmann’s poor debate performance.
“Bachmann’s biggest mistake has been her fairly poor debate performances,” says Hiram College’s Jason Johnson. “Her inability to capitalize on her success with strong debate performances really hurt her. Really, really hurt her overall. And then we’ve seen this typhoon of frontrunners appear after her over and over and over again.”
And I know that when most Americans think of the Midwest they think of Cleveland, St. Louis, amber waves of grain and all of those rust belt images and 1940’s propaganda posters. But, the problem is that’s the televised Midwest.
The real Midwest can be found in places like Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa. Why the difference? Unbeknownst to most people vast swaths of land in this country are still nothing but farmland, not necessarily anchored by any major city.
I just flew into Omaha, Nebraska to drive over to Des Moines, Iowa (about a two hour drive) and saw nothing. Seriously there is little or nothing out here.
I went to high school in Nebraska and I can tell you that there used to be road signs that said “Last gas for 3 hours” when you headed into the Western part of the state.
Now, this is not meant to be a nostalgic bashing of flyover country. Instead, it is a reminder that most Americans and the press we follow are very urban-centric. If it happens in a city or a surrounding suburb, the press is all over it. But, it is often overlooked that a large, if dwindling population of Americans live more than 2 hours away from a metropolitan area of a million people or more. These men and women have thoughts, dreams and hopes, as well. Consequently, whatever happens in the next 48 hours isn’t some anomaly based on some country yokels. It is actually the feeling of some folks who are still a vital part of the American fabric.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.
The night before the Iowa Caucuses Dr. Jason Johnson spoke with Al Jazeera about what to expect, what the campaigns are all hoping for and what different scenarios mean for President Obama in 2012.
Hiram College professor Jason Johnson is heading to Iowa to cover the Republican Presidential Caucuses in his capacity as Chief Political Correspondent for Politic365.com, Politics Editor for The Source Magazine, and guest contributor for Al Jazeera English.
Johnson will tour Council Bluffs and western Iowa beginning Sunday, January 1, and will broadcast live from Des Moines the night of the Iowa Caucuses on Tuesday, January 3rd. Professor Johnson will analyze the results of the Iowa Caucuses and provide analysis on the state of the 2012 election campaign.