When the Republicans have their convention this summer - the winner will need a majority of the total 2286 delegates - at least 1144. Iowa gets a grand total of about 28 delegates and since the delegates are split among the candidates - Mitt Romney will get about 7 of the 1144 that he needs to be nominated. So does Santorum - even Ron Paul gets about 5.
In the old days - people selected delegates - and when they got to the convention - the delegates could vote for whoever they wanted. In today's "modern" system - delegates are sworn to vote on the first ballot of the convention the way the people told them to vote - namely for Romney or Santorum. But if no one gets 1144 on the first ballot at the convention - the delegates have the power to vote for whoever they want.
The only thing pretty obvious about the Iowa Caucuses - is that one of these 7 will be nominated to run against President Obama on August 27th in Tampa FL.
Then finally - we have a head to head campaign between President Obama and that one person. The other 6 candidates must then pretend that everything they said was baloney and they really "love" the Republican candidate.
Think of all the money that is just wasted on this process. Thing of all the news coverage money thrown away. Since much of the campaign money ends up going to television - the media is not going to downplay this whole fiasco.
Then after the Republican and Democratic convention - we will spend billions of dollars just choosing one of the two. In many states - if a candidate wins the state by 1 vote - all of their delegates go in his pocket. Win California just by 1 voter and you get 55 of the 270 electoral votes needed to become president for 4 years.
With all this silliness - you can see how someone with less real people votes can become president. You may recall that George Bush got less votes than Al Gore - and he became president. You know what a smart move that was. After a couple wars and trillions of dollars in record debt - our system certainly failed us.
It is time for a direct election of the president. On one day - the people get to vote for a candidate - any candidate - and that person gets to be president. If no one gets a majority of the vote - you have a runoff between the top two candidates - one week later.
When you have a hammer - everything starts looking like a nail. When you have a TV camera - everything looks like an important story. So it looks like nothing is going to change. The elections have become a distraction from the real issues - and that is how the real powers want it.