Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iowa in perspective

Tonight is the Iowa Caucus - the first contest of the 2008 presidential race.

The Iowa caucuses are regarded by many as a crucial harbinger of the campaign leading up to the party conventions. However since 1972, when Iowa started its "first in the nation" tradition, its track record has been mixed.

George McGovern came in third in 1972.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter came in second. In first place was an uncommitted slate. George H. W. Bush won in 1980. In 1988, he came in third.

Recently Iowa has done better as a predictor. John Kerry won the 2004 Democratic caucus by 6%. In 2000, George W. Bush won solidly over a crowed field and Al Gore defeated Bill Bradley by 26%.

In 1996 Bob Dole beat Pat Buchanan by 3%.

So enjoy the political theater that is Iowa, but remember that while a victory does give momentum going into New Hampshire and beyond, it does not guarantee victory or defeat. Just ask Bill Clinton. In 1992, he only received 3%!


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