An Iowa State University economist says while the spotlight is on Iowa for the first presidential test, it’s it’s impossible to put a dollar amount on the economic impact of the Iowa Caucuses. David Swenson says most of the money generated comes from the campaigns and the national media that descend on the state.
Swenson says the amount of money spent in the state’s economy is "really small" compared to the state’s gross product of 115-billion or more per year. He says this year’s longer caucus season doesn’t necessarily translate to a greater economic boost.
Swenson says the season may look longer, but he doesn’t really think it is, as the spending has to coincide with tapping into the awareness and consciousness of the caucus goers and it’s a very short window. Swenson says the direct economic impact is felt in the state’s two largest cities- Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Swenson says hotels, restaurants and car rentals will see the greatest bump in spending.