The Iowa Caucus is less than a week away. It is crucially important that we stay focused on the substantive issues; instead of getting distracted by polls that change daily or silly birther attacks. Pundits, reporters, and columnists on cable networks and news sites salivate over a variety of polls; using them like crystal balls to make bold and far reaching predictions without any solid foundation. The obsession over national polling is especially irrational. As Andrew Bouchcer from Townhall pointed out, “National polls would be useful if we had a national primary. We don’t, and we’re about to find out just how meaningless all those national polls truly are.”       

        Let’s travel back in time 4 years. Almost everyone (myself included) had written off former Senator Rick Santourum as a viable candidate. I didn’t think he had a snow ball’s chance in hell at winning Iowa, let alone being the runner up to Mitt Romney. Most polls had him at or less than 1% going into Iowa. State GOP officials called the race too early, claiming Romney won by 5 votes. After much recounting and reexamination of the results, Santourum was declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus by 34 votes. Despite being massively outspent by Romney and other opponents; Santourum won Iowa because he ran a very effective grassroots campaign, visiting every single county. 

          In 1976 Ronald Reagan did the unthinkable and ran for the nomination against the incumbent Republican President, Gerald Ford. Reagan barely lost, with Ford squeaking by just 50 delegates ahead. In 1980 Reagan lost Iowa to George H.W. Bush. Bush had a big lead going into New Hampshire. Reagan turned the tide with his famous line, “I paid for this microphone Mr. Green!”. 

         The main point I’m trying to make here is that polls are mostly irrelevant. The only polls that really matter are the exit polls, which are often completely different than the ones that have been regurgitated to you endlessly by the media for several months. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump may be the front runners now, but there’s still a very good chance that someone else could be the nominee. I’m not saying I completely ignore polls or that they don’t matter at all. I go to Real Clear Politics and look at them once or twice a week, but I don’t follow them constantly. This is not a horse race or American Idol. 

         Take a step back from all the media buzz and research the issues. Analyze each candidate. Take a deep look at their current and past positions. Ask yourself, what has that person actually done to fight for what matters to you? Does that individual have principles? Will they buckle to special interests and big corporate donors? Are they positioning themselves a certain way now just because it’s convenient? I recommend going to conservativereview.com, it’s free and easy. They take a deep, unbiased and objective look at each candidate and their record. “A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought”, Warren Buffet. 

         After deciding who you support, get involved. Volunteer for a campaign, donate, do whatever you can. There are a dozen candidates in this crowded GOP field, so it will be a very close race. You can make a difference! Don’t let the media decide this for you. Our next President will determine the fate of this country. This is your decision to make America!

Written By Jason O’Day, Founder and Operations Manager of American Exceptionalism