Does it matter who won in Iowa?

Here’s the form book:

On the Democrat side, the previous three winners all went on to be their party’s nominee. It’s five out of seven overall since 1980.

On the Republican side, the previous four winners all went on to be their party’s nominee, and again it’s five out of seven since 1980.

If you look at only those contests where there was no incumbent President or Vice-President standing (as was the case yesterday for both sides), then the Iowa winner went on to be their party’s nominee four out of seven times overall: Reagan lost in 1980 to HW Bush, Dole won in 1996, GW Bush won in 2000; Mondale won in 1984, Dukakis lost to Gephardt in 1988, Clinton lost to Harkin in 1992, Kerry won in 2004.

Other notable comments from around the blogs: Winners and Losers on Freethink, a typically lively comment thread on Political Betting, the implications for racism in the US on Dizzy Thinks, the impact of young voters on Daily Kos, another round up – this time with speech extracts – on Easter Lemming and then there’s the really big question.

UPDATE: And now, the elephant has spoken.

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This entry was posted in LDVUSA.


  • Peter Welch 4th Jan '08 - 2:20pm

    Harkin was a native son and thus an outlier. I think the real score is 4 out of 6.

  • I love these caucuses, especially the Democrat ones where people debate and move between the candidates. Maybe we should incorporate them somehow.

  • Angus J Huck 4th Jan '08 - 3:32pm

    Huckabee, an Anglo-Saxon conservative Christian, did well to win in a mainly German, “moderate” Christian state.

    He will be flattened in New Hampshire, where religion is weak, but will win almost everywhere in the South. I cannot imagine he will do well in the urban North-East or California, when those states come up.

    If the “mainstream” Republican contenders were more impressive, Huckabee wouldn’t get a look in.

    The party elite appears to be backing Romney, but there is no way they are going to get the Republican rural Evangelical base to accept a Mormon.

    On the Democrat side, how is it that the entire party establishment failed to do it for Hillary Clinton?

  • of course it matters. I find both Obama and Edwards very inspirational. Look forward to seeing/hearing similiar performances from our our own inspirational leader in coming weeks, months and years. As for the significance of Iowa. I think this is the most open election for years and we should read too much into past spoils. The increase in turnout can’t be a bad thing in terms of the knock-on effect it might have over here.

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