Des Moines, IA In a stunning upset today, a trained monkey won the Iowa Caucuses, gaining 42% of the overall vote, with Howard Dean @ 19%, John Kerry @ 17%, John Edwards @ 14%, Dick Gephardt with 7% and Dennis Kucinich with 1% of the final vote tally.
Until today, the trained monkey, named Sparkles, had not registered to run for President or for the caucuses themselves. When it became clear that he would be the candidate of choice, lawyers for the monkey scrambled and found out that the rules governing filing deadlines for the caucuses, primaries and the Presidential election do not apply to non-humans, and that there is no specific clause in the U.S. Constitution precluding a non-human to run, as long as he or she is over the age of 35 (Sparkles is 38).
Political analysts point to a peculiarity about caucuses, which make them prone to such unpredictability, unlike the primaries, which generally count on existing name recognition, in a caucus, residents who are willing to spend up to 3 hours of their lives at a political meeting will show up and discuss who they want to vote for and why. Supporters are often called on to support their choice for Presidential candidate vocally and publicly.
Today's caucus was extraordinary, because for the first hour of debate in most precincts, Sparkles was not even mentioned, until one person piped up that "none of the candidates were worth a damn, and a trained monkey would be a better President than any of these clowns." Another caucus-goer mentioned that he owned a trained monkey (Sparkles), and one thing just sort of led to another. Sparkles was quickly rushed in to sign the registration papers and word was sent to the other precincts throughout Iowa that there was another choice. Immediately the buzz caused a snowball effect, with an overall 42% of Iowans agreeing that indeed, a trained monkey was a better choice than any of the current Democratic field.
Dean, Gephart and Kerry all said their campaigns would persevere, while Edwards planned a full out attack ad campaign against the monkey. Kucinich couldn't stop laughing, noting that he didn't give a rip, because his campaign had been part of an elaborate practical joke on his family as part of the upcoming Fox reality series "Candidate Nobody". Those who did not have a presence in the caucus were also asked for comment. Joe Lieberman claimed that the monkey was perhaps too liberal to be president. Wesley Clark was quoted as saying, "yeah, if that monkey's a Democrat, so am I." But the most controversial claim came from Al Sharpton, who claimed the monkey was a racist.
A Zogby International poll just released hours after the surprising upset, shows that in next Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, Howard Dean is locked in a dead heat with the trained monkey at 35% each, while none of the other candidates could garner double digits. President Bush promised to do everything he could to reach out to Monkey-Americans, and said that voters had often mistaken him for a monkey anyway.