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Iowa and New Hampshire: Who cares?

Posted by cann0nba11 on January 4, 2008

[update: Jan 4, 2008]

Calm down Oprah. Obama has joined a distinguished group of politicians that includes Gore, Harkin, Gephardt and Mondale. These are the previous four Democratic winners in the Iowa caucuses that were selected when a sitting President was not on the ballot.

  • Iowa picked Harkin over eventual winner Clinton (Iowa had Clinton 4th)
  • Iowa picked Gephardt over eventual nominee Dukakis (he was 3rd behind Tsongas)
  • Even in 1976 37% were uncommitted, they had Carter 2nd.

On the Republican side they didn’t do much better.

  • They picked GWB correctly.
  • When Reagan’s VP was running, the put Bush 3rd behind Dole and Pat Robertson
  • When Reagan ran in 1980 Iowa preferred the elder Bush.

Not too impressive, huh?

[original post from  Dec 29, 2007] 

I am so sick of hearing about and reading about Iowa and New Hampshire. Iowa is a great state, I’ve had some of the best corn I’ve ever tasted there. I’ve had lots of fun at the Valaire Ballroom in Des Moines. And New Hampshire is a wonderful place as well. But why should America care who voters pick in the Iowa primary?

Think about it. Here is a list of the winners for each party over the past 30 years:

1976 – Ford (R, incumbent), Uncommitted (D = 36%, Carter was second with 28%)
1980 – Bush (R), Carter (D)
1984 – REAGAN (R, incumbent), Mondale (D)
1988 – Dole (R), Gephardt (D)
1992 – Bush (R, incumbent), Harkin (D)
1996 – Dole (R), Clinton (D, incumbent)
2000 – Bush II (R), Gore (D)
2004 – Bush II (R, incumbent), Kerry (D)

The only time that Iowa voters got it right when they weren’t forced to choose against an incumbent was Bush II, v.1. That’s 1:8. Now let’s see how the fine folks in New Hampsha’ fared:

New Hampshire
1976 – Ford (R), CARTER (D)
1980 – REAGAN (R) Carter (D)
1984 – REAGAN (R) Hart (D)
1988 – BUSH (R) Dukakis (D)
1992 – Bush (R) Tsongas (D)
1996 – Dole (R) CLINTON (D)
2000 – McCain (R) Gore (D)
2004 – BUSH II (R) Kerry (D)

Second verse, close to the first. NH got 3:8 when removing the incumbent.

So I ask anyone willing to listen: Why do we still care about how Iowa and New Hampshire vote in the primaries? The world has changed folks… we’ve got instant news, opinions travel at the speed of light and every candidate’s words, facial expressions and body movements are overanalyzed, critiqued and force fed to the masses. Let’s give the vote back to the people and tell the mainstream media to rethink its coverage priorities.


One Response to “Iowa and New Hampshire: Who cares?”

  1. So I ask anyone willing to listen: Why do we still care about how Iowa and New Hampshire vote in the primaries?

    Uhm, because it makes for good blogging??? I mean really, you wouldn’t have written this awesome post, nor done all that research if it hadn’t been for Iowa and New Hampshire…

    Just saying…



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