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Election 2008:
Covering the Iowa Caucus

Election 2008:
Covering the Iowa Caucus


Lamar Lapp is a Republican who hasn't totally fallen for any of his candidates so far. He is the fourth of five LGBT Iowans whom we are following through the Iowa caucuses on January 3, the first contest in the nominating process.

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."

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