Election 2008: Covering the Iowa Caucus

By Kerry Eleveld

Originally published on Advocate.com January 03 2008 12:00 AM ET

Caucus Goer: Lamar Lapp

Age: 45

Candidate: Undecided, vacillating between John
McCain and Fred Thompson

Hometown: Des Moines

First-time Caucuser? "No, this will be my fourth time."

Last Candidate Caucused For: Lamar Alexander in 2000

The Decision

Lapp’s
biggest concern is finding the candidate that’s most
electable in November. “McCain seems to have
broad appeal with a number of the moderates or even
liberals,” says Lapp. “As far as Thompson,
there’s a number of issues where I just
don’t know enough about him. A lot of other
people have the same problem. But there’s a big
likability factor also with him. People seem to just
like him."

As for the two
front-runners here in Iowa, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney,
Lapp sees drawbacks to both of them. “Romney, the big
thing that disinterested me in him was his negative
ads. And Huckabee, honestly, I’m a little bit
leery of the fact that he’s so close with the
religious right.” Lapp doesn’t like the
way the religious right tries to interfere in
people’s personal lives.

An Unusual Year

Usually, Lapp
makes up his mind and is off and running with a candidate
by this time in the process. But like many Republicans
across the country this year, he hasn't quite found a
candidate to take the plunge for
yet. “I’m really surprised that I
haven’t made my decision,” he says.
“Always in the past, I’ve made decisions early
on and then actually worked for the candidate, going
door-to-door, dropping off leaflets, calling
people.”

When asked why he
hasn’t settled on anyone, Lapp responds,
“It’s definitely not because I enjoy
anywhere from 20 to 40 phone calls a day from the
candidates and their staff. I’m not kidding, the
phone rings constantly.”

Why Not Giuliani?

“I like
Rudy, I’ve read up a lot about him. I know a number
of individuals that strongly support him,” says
Lapp, including his mom. "I can’t think of
anything bad about the guy. I do know as far as gay
and lesbian issues, he’s been real good. I’m
just uncertain about him as far as some of the key
Republican issues – fiscal responsibility, lower
taxes, controlling the budget – those items are more
important to me than the social issues. I consider
myself more of a fiscally minded Republican."