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Anti-Game Candidates Do Poorly in Iowa Caucuses 111

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the games-probably-not-the-deciding-factor dept.
Ron Bison writes to mention Game Politics is reporting that anti-game presidential candidates didn't fare so well in the Iowa caucuses. "On the Republican side, Mitt Romney, who lumps violent video games into what he terms an ocean of filth, was badly beaten by Mike Huckabee. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton saw both Barack Obama and John Edwards win more of the popular vote. Clinton has previously proposed video game legislation in the U.S. Senate. She recently told Common Sense Media that she would support such legislation if elected president."
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Anti-Game Candidates Do Poorly in Iowa Caucuses

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  • Slow news day? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:19PM (#21914886)
    Women, Latinos, and Inuit Indians also faired poorly. And that observation is just as irrevelent as this guy's observation that they two winning candidates just happen to not have a particularly strong record of opposing videogames. Or does this guy seriously think that this issue was raised even ONCE during the caucusing?
    • Re:Slow news day? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by faloi (738831) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:24PM (#21914976)
      When your site is devoted to "Where Politics and Video Games Collide" it behooves you to draw as many conclusions as you can. When politicians with stronger anti-gaming views win other caucuses, that will doubtless be an indication that we must all join whatever coalition is being pimped out for the protection of our rights.
    • Re:Slow news day? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spleen_blender (949762) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:25PM (#21914984)
      I don't think it is reasonable to think that video games in themselves are a significant issue, however they act as a good canary for determining the desirability of a certain candidate.

      If a candidate wants to have government influence in the entertainment industry, they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of government and are probably more likely to carry this mentality into other duties.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by aichpvee (631243)
        I've got to totally agree. The very first politician I ever gave a fuck about was Joe Lieberman because he was attacking games when I was 12 years old. Then when I got older I learned that he was a complete and total douche bag. At the very least when a politician goes about railing against video games they're not doing our business, and we have some serious fucking business that needs doing today. It is definitely a good sign that their priorities are seriously out of line.

        How about getting a national
        • by sumdumass (711423)
          Wow, I'm not sure I understand your reasoning on a few things here but lets aks dome questions to see if you are as informed as you think.

          What makes you think Lieberman is a total douche bag? And if you weren't 12 at the time he was railing on violent video games, you would understand the issues at hand. The popular position of the Democrat party at the time was that columbine shootings and all the other school shootings were the cause of Violent Video Games where the you just killed everything on the scree
          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by aichpvee (631243)
            What makes you think Lieberman is a total douche bag? And if you weren't 12 at the time he was railing on violent video games, you would understand the issues at hand. The popular position of the Democrat party at the time was that columbine shootings and all the other school shootings were the cause of Violent Video Games where the you just killed everything on the screen. They were particularly upset over video games that put you in a role of killing cops too. You might remember Tipper Gore's campaign on
            • by sumdumass (711423)

              I wasn't 12 at the time of the Columbine shootings and if you think that is when Lieberman started his attacks on video games you came late to the party. Lieberman is a total douche bag because his policies are dead wrong and he lectures other people as if he were right. If he didn't go around lecturing he'd still be a douche bag, just not on this issue. But he'd still be wrong on it.

              Yea, you would be about 18 when columbine happened. But that doesn't invalidate the other school shootings that have been h

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by domatic (1128127)

            You might remember Tipper Gore's campaign on hollywood and game violence.

            Not especially but my memory on the subject of "porn rock" is very very long indeed.
    • by Rei (128717)
      Yes, correlation does not imply causation; we all know that. So? It's still good news that anti-game candidates did poorly, even though it's in all likelyhood unrelated.
      • by mOdQuArK! (87332)
        A single correlation doesn't imply causation.

        When you collect enough different correlations (positive and/or negative), and identify non-correlations, then you can start making some empirical/statistical arguments about causality.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      Exactly. There are probably dozens of issues that are more important right now than games politiking. A president can't sign into law legislation that doesn't exist, and I don't think games are on the US legislatures's mind as a whole, usually it's just a small number of crackpot legislators that want to regulate violent games and that's it.
  • I doubt that video gamers are going to turn this election.
    • redundant /rdndnt/ Pronunciation[ri-duhn-duhnt]
      1. characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; prolix: a redundant style.

      • Yeah, the first post got modded redundant too. Some asshole got mod points today, obviously.
      • To quote night_flyer:

        "redundant /rdndnt/ Pronunciation[ri-duhn-duhnt]
        1. characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas; prolix: a redundant style."
  • wow... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by night_flyer (453866) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:21PM (#21914912) Homepage
    are you serious? one caucus and its a warning to anti-game candidates?
    • are you serious? one caucus and its a warning to anti-game candidates?
      A CRYPTIC warning.
      Those are the best kind! :D
  • And? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bn0p (656911) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:21PM (#21914918)
    Does anyone seriously think that any candidate's stand on videogames was a factor in the Iowa caucuses?

    Never let reality temper imagination
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Thread over.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SirLurksAlot (1169039)

      I doubt that videogames themselves were even close to the biggest issue, but apparently there is a large segment [] of the population who play them. I'm a gamer, and I know I certainly care about whether or not a candidate wants to censor the games I play. Of course, this wouldn't be my only reason for supporting one candidate over another, but it is an issue worth considering nonetheless.

      • But that story doesn't say what kind of games are being played. I think Ars did a story that said more women played games, but readers love to say that they aren't "serious" games and such. I would expect that three fourths of those game players aren't playing violent games. No one is going to be able to censor Solitaire or Sudoku.
    • by 91degrees (207121)
      As far as newsworthiness goes, I'd say this was pushing it on Having a site that isn't exclusively about games and politics, and how they relate covering it really makes me think they're struggling for news.
    • And does anyone seriously think the Iowa caucus is as relevant as the media tries to make it?

      Talk to me after Feb 5th.
      • by hardburn (141468)

        Yes, actually. Last go round, Kerry essentially won the Democratic nomination in Iowa. And he was an underdog until the night before.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mr_mischief (456295)
        Iowa's the earliest caucus, and a caucus potentially measures the pull a candidate's organization has on a party's core membership than a primary ever does. It lets the parties see where people in a particular largely rural state will rally. This gives them a chance to see which candidates need more money and which cannot gain the support of this section of their own party no matter the bankroll.

        More importantly, it doesn't take nearly as much money to reach the relatively small number of people in Iowa as
      • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rei (128717) on Friday January 04, 2008 @06:18PM (#21915998) Homepage
        Actually, it is. The Iowa caucuses give a strong statistical boost to the winner. It's no guarantee, but it's a very real and pretty major effect, as far as poll percentages go. One of the biggest reasons is the "rallying point" aspect. In this case, picture a person who likes both Obama and Edwards and hates Clinton. If Edwards had won the Iowa caucuses, he could have counted on a large share of those people supporting him because they see him as the candidate most likely to take the nomination away from Clinton. Since Obama won, he instead can be the one to count on that. While Iowa alone is only worth a handful of percentage points from this effect, once you get past New Hampshire and South Carolina, you're talking literally dozens of points up for play. Right now, it's still anybody's game, but Obama has been moved into a stronger position, Clinton weaker, and Edwards still looks to be in trouble. If the couple percent boost from Iowa were to give Obama the NH primary, and he were to win SC, he can count on the vast majority of votes from those who like him as well as one or more other candates (in this case, probably mostly Edwards supporters). If Edwards doesn't win one of the three, look to him to drop out and leave it a race between Obama and Clinton.

        As for the other candidates, you have two types -- the "making a point/pushing issues candidates" (Kucinich, Gravel), and the "Running for VP candidates" (Dodd, Biden, Richardson). They knew fully well going into Iowa that they stood better chance of being hit by a deorbiting Russian satellite than winning the nomination. What they all wanted was a strong showing to make clear their ability to win votes. A number of them outright curried favor with particular candidates -- for example, Richardson had his supporters support Obama in Iowa as a second choice wherever Richardson wasn't viable for delegates. And it may well pay off, too -- Richardson landed fourth, and his long list of experience compliments well Obama's perceived inexperience, plus the concept of having an African-American/Latino ticket further pushes Obama's campaign themes of unity and change.
    • Who said that it did? The article is just making a point to say that it did happen.
    • by kellyb9 (954229)
      Not to mention, should it really have any bearing on how you vote in the primaries? No offense, but this country is facing a plethora of issues that I'd probably rank a little bit higher.
      • Not for me. Games aren't an issue themselves, the issue here (for me) is one of censorship. If a candidate is willing to prohibit violent (or any other kind, for that matter) games from being made, that means they endorse government censorship. The only tolerable level of government censorship is 0, and as soon as any candidate expresses a willingness to censor (games or otherwise), they've instantly lost my vote.
    • This, in and of itself, is a good thing! It was not at all clear that Hot Coffee was going to blow over. Regulation has failed over and over, but this is no guarantee it will fail in the future. If politcos cared enough, they would find a way to make something stick; if they don't give up, one of the laws will stand eventually. Would you like to see games go the way comics did in the 50s?

      Put another way -- wouldn't it be something to worry about if it WERE a factor in the Iowa caucuses? Then it's new
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trifthen (40989)
      Of course not, that would be preposterous!

      The point of course, is that the likelihood of an anti video-game candidate being elected has demonstrably dropped. Sure, that's ignored by everyone except folks like us, and likely irrelevant to the caucus votes themselves, but it's still good news nevertheless.
  • by grub (11606) <> on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:22PM (#21914932) Homepage Journal

    Also note that people with penises fared better than those without. Ergo, having a penis makes you a winner!
    • Actually, it's more likely to make you a loser. Only two candidates with a penis can be said to have 'won', while many others with a penis placed second or lower. The statistics speak for themselves.
    • by eln (21727) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:58PM (#21915664) Homepage
      Actually, the winners of a presidential election are statistically very likely to have a penis, the only notable exception being, of course, Chester A. Arthur, who as we all know had his penis surgically removed in order to conserve precious blood flow needed to hold up his impressive side whiskers.

    • Does a bigger one guarantee a better chance at winning the election? I guess that old stereotype will be put to the test this November!
    • by Rix (54095)
      That's pretty obvious in politics (though it's actually the balls).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trifthen (40989)
      This is not a cause/effect relationship, just good news.

      I don't know about you, but I'm personally ecstatic that—whether or not video games are a serious political topic—politicians who happen to subscribe to such scapegoatism are unlikely to win for whatever other reason.
  • Not Really (Score:2, Insightful)

    I'm not a Clinton fan be she wasn't that far behind Obama. Obama was at 38%, Edwards was at 30%, and Clinton was 29%.

    I'd say the top 3 Democrats were pretty close. Sure, Obama won but it wasn't a landslide.

    Personally I haven't formed a strong enough opinion on any of them, but Clinton isn't looking like my first choice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AuMatar (183847)
      In a 3 way race, 8 percent is a landslide. Now I'd call Clinton and Edwards basicly tied, but Obama beat her handily.

      Still, its only the first caucus among many races, she has plenty of time to catch up. I'd much rather see Edwards or Obama win though. That speech Obama gave last night was amazing, I try to keep my emotions out of politics and even I was getting worked up, he's a truly great orator.
      • And it's all a waste of time because it's bloody Iowa anyway. US history is littered with with winners of early primaries who vanished into thin air shortly thereafter. So congrats to Huck/Obama supporters, but this ain't over until Hillary and Rudy say it is.

        God, I hope I'm wrong.
        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "US history is littered with with winners of early primaries who vanished into thin air shortly thereafter."

          I wouldn't exactly say it's "littered"; since 1976, only three candidates have won the Iowa Caucus and not gone on to win their party's nomination for the general election (according to Wikipedia):

          1980: George H.W. Bush (Reagan came in a close second)
          1988: Bob Dole (G.H.W. Bush was a distant third)
          1988: Dick Gephardt (Dukakis was a distant third)
          1992: Tom Harkin (a senator from Iowa, he carried 76% of
        • by Scudsucker (17617)
          The guy is toast. He's an incompetent, authoritarian dick who only got as far as he did because the media fell in love with "America's Mayor." His recent pandering to the contrary (that he would nominate judges like Alito or Scalia), his record of support for gun control, abortion and gay rights puts him at odds with much of the wingnut base. And there are the slight issues of his spending tens of thousands of dollars having the NYPD act as chauffeurs for his his mistress, putting an executive fuck pad i
          • Interesting take on Hillary v. Huckabee, I hadn't considered that particular angle. Considering how many conservatives are literally aghast at Huck's success so far, I still think he's toast come Super Tuesday.
            • by Scudsucker (17617)
              Considering how many conservatives are literally aghast at Huck's success so far, I still think he's toast come Super Tuesday.

              It's delightful to see this happen on the Republican side - usually its the Democratic establishment telling their base to shut the fuck up and vote, cuz you don't want a repeat of Nader in 2000, now do you?

              The Republican establishment is freaking out because some uppity theocon with a populist message is not making a token run for the presidency - he has a good chance of getting the
      • by cduffy (652)

        That speech Obama gave last night was amazing, I try to keep my emotions out of politics and even I was getting worked up
        That's nothing. Have you heard his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention when Kerry was being nominated? I still can't get through it without tearing up.
      • In a 3 way race, 8 percent is a landslide.
        Stop pretending like he doesn't exist! He's just very, very short.
        • by AuMatar (183847)
          Kucinich has been killed by his treatment as a joke in the press. Most people don't know he exists. He has no chance at the nomination.
      • It consisted of nothing more than railing against what "they" said. "'They' said it couldn't be done." Who the hell is "they", Barack? The speech was nothing more than a bushel of strawmen; The Young Turks gave it the mocking [] it deserved.
        • In a 3 way race, 8 percent is a landslide.
          It means that Obama gets one more delegate than Edwards. One. Edwards really needed a win in Iowa, as he isn't a fundraising juggernaut like Obama and Clinton, and has been virtually ignored by the national media despite being the only other candidate to consistently poll in double digits.
    • I posted a diary about his on Daily Kos. I argue that it's likely the delegate results understate Obama's support in Iowa [].

      The Iowa Caucuses are not winner-take-all, but nor are they "instant runoff." Instead, people get to see the results of the first round of voting before making their second choice.

      In my precinct, and in many others, Obama supporters saw the strength of his support, and supported a second candidate in the final tally. Had they stood firm after being joined by second choices from other can
  • Different take (Score:2, Informative)

    I didn't read anywhere in TFA that proposed the two were related. I understood it as more of a heads up that the candidates who were most anti-videogame on each side didn't happen to do well. Not that that they didn't do well because of their anti-videogame stances.
  • Repeat after me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jmauro (32523) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:29PM (#21915078)
    Correlation does not equal causation.

    The results were the cause of many reasons, but video games laws were most definitely not one of them.
  • by _xeno_ (155264) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:34PM (#21915190) Homepage Journal

    So what is Huckabee's policy on video games? I sure can't find one on his site. (Which, to be fair, covers a whole lot of issues that I'd consider to be far more important.)

    On the Democrat side, it would appear that Edwards and Obama both want to regulate the industry [].

    So, some victory for video game's rights, since none of the candidates seem to really be addressing this issue and it would appear that all of them agree that video games need to be federally regulated. (With the presumable exception of Ron Paul.)

    • by p0tat03 (985078)
      I admit I haven't been as on top of Obama and video games recently, but didn't he claim that he wanted to put legal teeth behind selling games to underaged kids? And that he is in favour of more parental education on game ratings? Neither of those things sound questionable to me, at all. If we uphold legal drinking, driving, and gambling ages, and we card our kids at the multiplex, why not at the game shop?
  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:38PM (#21915252) Journal
    Yes, Clinton and Romney did not fare well and the fact they are (or were) somewhat against violent video games may have robbed them of a couple of votes. In contrast though I think not only I, but many Slashdotters know that the main issues at hand have nothing to do with video games. In fact, most of the republican vote came from an older-than-expected crowd (much of the younger crowd expected didn't show to the republican caucuses) which would in all likelihood be more pro-anti-gaming legislation.

    The fact is, this vote can be spun in every which way possible, but Iowans voted for change and they underlined that statement with almost double of previous record turnout.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday January 04, 2008 @05:48PM (#21915450) Homepage Journal
    no candidate, even democrats should dare alienate gamer voter base.
    • Or what, you won't vote for them? Shucks...

      The gamer voting base isn't that large in comparison to the general population so there's no voting power present. Even if it were, there's no lobby to protect them and the community isn't like to drum up the money to support one (though I think industry should build a bigger one).

      Most these candidates are going to play the "keep your kids safe" card and parents that could mildly fit into the pro-gamer base will likely switch because they are too damn lazy to
  • I agree with most of the other posters that video games might have cost the candidates a few votes.

    Along the same line is that the young voters see the losing candidates as being part of the nanny-state problem where Washington is going to tell me what to do, and we've had enough of that in the current administration. Their position on games isn't the dealbreaker but is symptomatic of a positon that de-values true liberty of expression. Which, I kind of expect this from Rommney trying to win the religious
  • Maybe the people with even numbers of eyelashes lost, and those with odd numbers of eyelashes won. That's about as likely as there being any association with game politics.

    So does anybody know Obama's exact eyelash count? I think I might be on to something.

  • by compumike (454538) on Friday January 04, 2008 @06:18PM (#21915988) Homepage
    Take a look at the different candidates on how much influence they want the government to have in your personal life. There is a huge spectrum, both within the Democrats and the Republicans. Video games is only the tip of the iceberg, but is representative of whether people think the federal government needs to act like a protective parent or not. Most of the "establishment" candidates are overwhelmingly tending toward YES on the need for the nanny state, but Clinton is probably the worst. There are alternatives out there. Think about personal liberties, but don't restrict yourself narrowly to the issue of video games.

    Just because you might not let your 10-year-old play "Gears of War", does that imply that the government should regulate those games for everyone's "protection"? Or can we separate what we personally think is "right" from what the role of the government (coercive by nature) should be?

    Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation. []
    • by Scudsucker (17617)
      Complaining about a "nanny state" isn't a policy argument, it's a marketing point made by those who lump good government and bad government into one category: bad.

      The two biggest reasons Hillary probably lost by as much as she did are her votes for the AUMF to invade Iraq and for Kyl-Lieberman. Edwards also voted for the AUMF, but he apologized two years ago. Hillary has never accepted responsibility for her bad vote, and voted for Kyl-Lieberman, which was nothing more than a repeat of the (baseless) warm
  • Whether or not a politician supports anti-game legislation is not independent of their other policy stances; in other words, these guys lost because of their policies, and there is a notable correlation between loser-policies and anti-game-policies.
  • It may not have been an issue at the caucus, but it's certainly an issue in this community. Rather than a warning to the candidates, maybe the post informs the public? Of course, that's clearly unpossible.
  • Would "... anti-game presidential candidates didn't fare so well in the Iowa caucuses..." actually inspire seemingly serious debate. Can't we at least judge our political leaders on something of true significance, like whether their laptop is PC or Mac?

    Actually, now that I think of it, I don't know that I'd be comfortable knowing that the Leader of the Free world was a Mac person.

    I'm serious.
  • Dr Ron Paul [] will scrap the IRS, will let you have guns, will let you homeschool your kids, and will let you live in peace without crying over a killed relative in Iraq. Why you don't vote for him? Here in EU some are very jealous and we wish we had a politician like him. I can understand that you would be reluctant to vote for third party, but having such a man in a mainstream party and not voting for him makes me wonder. Why you don't vote for him?
    • There are many reasons not to vote for Ron Paul. His support for intelligent design and the fact that he would scrap many popular programs along with the universally loathed IRS are the first two that come to mind but they are by no means the only reasons.
      • by wikinerd (809585)

        *All* politicians with no single exception are imperfect (in fact all humans are). There are good reasons to not vote for every politician. What one needs to do is to find one or two politicians who more closely resemble the perfect president and are likely to take more good decisions and do little harm.

        I think what the US needs most is a president to scrap all laws introduced by the last two Bush administrations, especially the Patriot Act and the Iraq war. Only two candidates, I think, are really goi

        • I agree that the first thing we should do is repeal everything done in the past 7 years. I'm not sure how we repeal all the people killed and money wasted in the war, but that's for the politicians to figure out.

          I like what Paul says about the Iraq war, but that's about the extent of his appeal. Kucinich is by far the better candidate, Paul is way to far to the right. It's bad enough that he's a libertarian (as they are hopelessly self serving in their policies) but he's also got a little too much religious
  • Video games are far from the most important issue being debated by the candidates, and the likelihood that a Presidential candidate's views on videogames will impact actual laws is small. Hillary Clinton has come out in support of draconian legal penalties for stores that slip up and sell games to underage players, but such laws have not fared well in the courts. I'd be surprised if Clinton's enthusiasm for this approach extends to trying to pack the judiciary with supporters of videogame censorship.

  • I don't think the question of whether you think computer games are good or bad weighs all that much on people's minds. In fact, I don't think the candidates' stand on any single issue matter too much, really - it all boils down to one single question: who do people feel they can trust the most? I can easily understand why people in America are sick and tired of ultra-conservatives, mindless religion and 'tough' posturing - after GWB I suspect a lot of people simply want somebody who seems not only mentally

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk