Thankfully, the Iowa Republican caucuses are tomorrow. I don’t think I could take even one more day of breathless reports about the latest polling data.
I’ve written before about how the Iowa polls seem like Fortune’s Wheel — constantly turning, with always-new, surging would-be frontrunners who quickly crash and burn and then are replaced with latest darling. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and now Newt Gingrich have all had their time at the top of the wheel, followed by speedy tumbles to the bottom. According to the final Des Moines Register poll, the latest candidate to catch fire is Rick Santorum, the former Senator from Pennsylvania who is popular among social conservatives. The poll reports that Santorum has broken into the top three, trailing only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Gingrich, the former flavor of the month, apparently has talked his way back into the pack of also-rans.
The polls make voters in the Hawkeye State seem as silly and fickle as a crush-addled teenager. Given that, perhaps reporters should stop writing critically about how Romney can’t seem to be break through the 30 percent barrier and write admiringly instead about his ability to steadily retain a solid core of support among an undecided and capricious Iowa electorate.