Iowa’s Ethanol Echochamber: Keeping Tabs on Political Pandering

January 28, 2016

For raw data used in the ethanol tracker below, please click here. For bar chart, see below.

With the Iowa Caucuses right around the corner, presidential candidates are making their final rounds throughout the state, meeting thousands of potential caucus-goers to sway their vote. In the home of Big Corn, that means pandering to the ethanol mandate.

In media interviews, speeches, debates and stops along the campaign trail, ethanol repeatedly rolls off the tongues of politicians seeking the presidency. When it comes to Iowa, this “ethanol echochamber” is by no means new – but for the first time, the Smarter Fuel Future campaign is quantifying it. Over the past few weeks, we’ve monitored candidates’ every move, tracking the number of times they’ve uttered the word “ethanol,” or mentioned the “Renewable Fuel Standard” to the crowds.

Despite the negative effects the broken policy has on our environment, economy and engines, corn is king in Iowa, and candidates are pandering to—or defending themselves against—the sole beneficiaries of the mandates –Iowa farmers and the ethanol lobby. The result? Ethanol has become one of the hottest topics on the trail, even though in the end it likely will make no difference in who wins the nomination or the presidency.  As we approach caucus day, the echochamber is sure to gain steam, so stay tuned for our daily updates to see which candidate is leading the pack—talking about ethanol whenever and wherever, even to oppose it and which candidates stay mum on issue.

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