Thursday, January 03, 2008

"Is this heaven?" "No - it's Iowa."

I herewith make an official prediction: either Obama, Hillary or Edwards will win Iowa.

Or not.

As for the Republican Primary, I can predict with confidence that it will be won by Some Nutjob.

Iowa has never been regarded as being as important as New Hampshire. Possibly because it's a thoroughly Byzantine system of choosing candidates; possibly just because it's Iowa.

Below is a listing of past winners of the Iowa Caucus (the first one was in 1972). You will note that Iowa doesn't seem to predict much in an open field. The winner of Iowa went on to win the primary when the primary was nearly a formality: an incumbent or a sitting Vice-President. The only exception is John Kerry's win just four years ago.

January 24, 1972 - "Uncommitted" (36%) and Edmund Muskie (36%). George McGovern was the nominee.
January 19, 1976 - "Uncommitted" (37%). Jimmy Carter - who was second behind the uncommitted vote (28%) - was the nominee
January 21, 1980 - Jimmy Carter (59%). Carter was the incumbent.
February 20, 1984 - Walter Mondale (49%). Mondale was veep.
February 8, 1988 - Richard Gephardt (31%). Who? Mike Dukakis (Who? again) was the nominee. He came in third.
February 10, 1992 - Tom Harkin (76%). Harkin is from Iowa, which explains it. But Clinton - the nominee, of course - came in fourth, with only 3% of the vote.
February 12, 1996 - Bill Clinton (unopposed).
January 24, 2000 - Al Gore (63%). Gore was veep.
January 19, 2004 - John Kerry (38%). Kerry won Iowa, and was indeed the nominee. Edwards was 2nd, with 32%.

I don't see much evidence that Iowa means much in a wide-open field, although I fear that that may have changed with the hyper-acceleration of the media cycle and that Kerry is evidence of that. I hope not. I hate the idea that Presidential candidates are pretty much chosen by two of the smallest states in the union.

Ok - I changed my mind. I predict that Chris Dodd will win Iowa.

Some Nutjob is still front-runner for the Republicans, though.

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