Our sympathies to you political junkies, and a “hang in there” to those of you who are politically fatigued: The Iowa caucuses are less than a month away.
If you didn’t already know the date, the number of political advertisements, candidate visits and news stories have likely clued you in that the end is near.
Iowa, of course, plays a prominent role in the caucuses, with its first-in-the-nation vote now a decades-old tradition. In our state, we like to scrutinize the candidates as if we were buying a used car, peering deep beneath the shine to make sure there’s something real, something reliable, something ready to go under all that carefully and generously applied wax.
So, in the coming days you’ll likely notice an increase in the amount of political coverage you’ll find on your Patch. We’ve had a ton already, we know, but we’re picking a president here, not a panini, and the conversation, in some ways, is really just beginning.
Will Mitt Romney continue his slide? Is the ascending Newt Gingrich balloon ride about to come crashing to the ground as Michele Bachmann’s has? Ron Paul continues to climb. How high can he go? Can Rick Perry turn his campaign here around? Why can't Rick Santorum buy a break?
(And, by the way, does anybody know who Jon Huntsman is? We remember hearing something about him somewhere.)
From now until the caucuses are over, we’ll carry all different kinds of political coverage with the day’s featured story -- or stories -- adorned with the label, “Iowa Caucus Countdown.” This won’t come at the expense of local news and conversation; it’ll be in addition to it.
As with all our coverage, political and otherwise, we’d like to encourage you to take part in discussing, in our comments section, the stories we present. We also invite you to continue submitting to our Eyes & Ears feature, which allows you to become a citizen journalist, alerting your neighbors to what you see and hear out there. And feel free to send us news tips on what you think we ought to cover. We're listening.
For those of you already tired of the nominating season, take heart. On January 3, it’s over.
Be sure to take a breath. Because shortly after your Caucus crash, the general election onslaught begins.
Todd Richissin is Patch's regional editor for Iowa. He can be reached at email@example.com.