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Corn Poll: A Novel of the Iowa Caucuses

Every four years the United States of America’s candidates for President bend over backwards to ingratiate themselves to Iowa’s first-in-the-nation voters. Some big-name contenders uproot friends and family and move to the Hawkeye State in an attempt to win the ultimate electoral prize. Others devote six months of their lives to crisscrossing the state in buses and caravans better suited to rock stars than lawyers and has-beens. Still others make the circuit of spirited town-hall meetings, press conferences, candidate barbeques, state-fair soapboxes, and straw polls that turn the Iowa Caucuses into the Midwest’s most bewitching spectator sport.

But what if our Nation’s iconic corn poll were turned on its ear by the very salt-of-the-earth citizens who indulge the candidates each and every four years? What if the Superpacs and interest groups and party officials weren’t allowed to play puppetmaster and kingmaker for a season, pulling the strings and pre-ordaining our frontrunners? What if the citizens of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota demanded their fair share? What if America’s first presidential primary was also its most wildly unforgettable.

Corn Poll: A Novel of the Iowa Caucuses offers citizens, nonparitsans, contrarians, egalitarians, libertarians, and free-thinkers the story of a presidential vote gone wonderfully off the rails. Not since the novel Primary Colors has the Middle American political landscape been so enjoyably piqued and probed. Part political satire, part whodunit and earnest call for change, and one whale of a good story, Corn Poll is a novel for political junkies and political discontents alike—for anyone who ever held their nose and cast a vote and everyone who ever dreamed We the People might demand the candidates we deserve.

Highly Recommended Reading!

“A nice break from the grind of campaign news…. Beyond the spoofing of characters you’ll recognize, there’s a warm hope for something better in our political system.” — David Yepsen, Director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University

“Corn Poll is a hoot and a holler for political reform. In the satirical tradition of Joe Klein’s Primary Colors and Jane Smiley’s Moo, this book will make you laugh and then think. In fact, what Zachary Michael Jack has to say might just make a difference in next year’s Iowa caucuses…and wouldn’t that be a good thing!” — Dr. Timothy Walch, Director Emeritus, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

“Covering the Iowa Caucuses for nearly forty years has taught me the greatest untold story in the Caucuses is the story of the people who cover them, real people with real thoughts and emotions. This book captures that image and brings new life to a political event that has become a tradition in the nation’s political life.” — Mike Glover, former Associated Press Statehouse and Political Reporter, Managing Editor, the Iowa Daily Democrat

“Corn Poll is an engaging story…  It’s an insightful,  behind-the-scenes peek at Presidential candidates and the media personalities covering the campaign drama.” — Dean Borg, host of Iowa Press on PBS, Iowa Public Radio correspondent, winner of the Jack Shelley Award for lifetime achievement from the Iowa Broadcast News Association

“A rollicking, entertaining novel of the Iowa caucuses by a smart and idealistic native son. This inspiring tale is infused with the hopeful and fighting spirit of La Follette-style Midwestern populism.” — Bill Kauffman, author, Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette and Bye, Bye Miss American Empire: Neighborhood Patriots, Back Country Rebels, and their Underdog Crusades to Redraw America’s Map

“Something for everyone! Political junkies will appreciate the inside jokes and cheeky references, but all who crave complex characters and a deeper understanding of the American heartland will find themselves riveted to the story and moved by the depth of Jack’s reflection on the current state of our electoral politics.” — Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, Professor of Political Science, North Central College, author, Inequality in America: Race, Poverty, and Fulfilling Democracy’s Promise

“Zachary Michael Jack has given us a great book—one that somehow changes the perspective of the reader when looking at real-life politics. It keeps us guessing, thinking, and laughing.” — Dr. Jeff Taylor, Professor of Political Science, Dordt College (IA), author, Politics on a Human Scale and Where Did the Party Go: William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy

“The best political writing is as much about people, places and principles as it is about process and philosophy. Professor Jack deftly weaves together all of these elements in a thoughtful, provocative, but always entertaining story set in America’s heartland…. The perceptive reader will see political commentary worth considering in this compelling work of fiction—a perfect combination: a beach book with big ideas.” — Dr. Thomas D. Cavenagh, Schneller Sisters Professor of Leadership, Ethics, and Values, Professor of Law and Conflict Resolution, North Central College, coauthor, with Lucille M. Ponte of Cyberjustice

Love or hate the Iowa caucuses, Zachary Michael Jack’s entertaining novel, “Corn Poll” turns them on their “ear.”  With one more of his many literary gifts to Iowa, Zachary Michael Jack continues to prove he is one of the finest writers the Midwest has to offer. — Dr. Robert Leonard, author, Yellow Cab, and KNIA/KRLS radio news editor

ZACHARY MICHAEL JACK has published more than twenty award-winning books in a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, literary journalism, creative nonfiction, and personal essay. Zachary’s fiction has earned national runner-up honors in its class in the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award; his poetry has been awarded the Prentice Hall Prize, and his nonfiction has received nominations for the Pushcart (Best of the Small Presses) Prize, the Theodore Saloutos Award, the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, the Herbert Warren Wind Award, and the Shambaugh Award. The author and his work have been featured in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Indianapolis Star, and the Des Moines Register, among many others. Zachary’s books have been favorably reviewed by the The New York Review of Books, Publishers’ Weekly, Choice, Kirkus, Foreword Reviews, and countless other industry-leading opinion-makers.