Janet Babin, Host, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a host and reporter at WNYC.
On Tuesday, Iowans will go to the polls for the Iowa caucuses, the first major electoral event of 2012 presidential elections. And while the open field of GOP presidential hopefuls has amped up nationwide media coverage of the caucuses, here in New York, some voters say they're suffering from caucus fatigue.
“I just tune it out,” said Bronx resident Raoul Busanet of all the media coverage.
Busanet, a Democrat, said what happens in Iowa won’t really affect him or his vote.
But Elinor Lipman, a fellow Democrat, said her reaction has been just the opposite. “I’m obsessed with all the primaries and what's happening,” said Lipman. An essayist, Lipman is even writing a rhyming tweet each day until the 2012 election.
Lipman wanted to hold a dinner party on Tuesday night to listen to the results roll in from the Iowa caucuses. “But then I realized that probably no one would come!,” she said.
Other New Yorkers believe it’s their duty to pay attention.
Nkomo Morris, 35, of Brooklyn admits she’s no political junkie, but she has been following news of the Republican hopefuls. “I'm a high school teacher, and so it's been kind of fun to watch all the craziness that's been going on with the candidates and to see who gets whittled off,” said Morris. Morris said the caucuses could be a great teaching moment.
Gotham Gazette editor David King thinks that to some extent, any fan of good government will be interested in what happens in Iowa on Tuesday. As for those who complain of too much coverage? “I think they should take comfort in the fact that these candidates are being scrutinized. That’s the way this is supposed to work,” said King.
King said if Ron Paul were to win the caucuses, the Tea Party faction of the New York GOP could gain prominence. “There was a lot of concern during the last gubernatorial cycle that the state Republican party was falling apart, and being mismanaged, and a lot of that sentiment comes from the Tea Party members,” said King. "If a candidate supported by the Tea Party wins in Iowa, that could force the state party to put more Tea Party leaders into leadership positions," King said.