Friday, January 04, 2008

Guess who came 3rd in Iowa in 1992...?

OK, maybe I was over-hasty writing off Hillary Clinton's chances if she hit the buffers in Iowa. True, she has suffered a massive setback coming third among Democrat presidential contenders in Iowa...

But while the good Democrats of the tiny state have given a huge boost to the chances of Senator Barack Obama becoming the first Black President, historically, they haven't always backed the eventual winner.

In 1992, according to the Des Moines Register, Iowa Democrats caucused 3-1 in favour of Tom Harkin.

Er, Tom who, I hear you ask.

In third place that year - with a derisory three-per-cent support - was an ambitious young man who went on not only to defeat Harkin later, but to reach the White House less than a year later, and make Hillary Clinton America's First Lady.

Hillary may have been mauled in Iowa after starting the race runaway favourite, but now she knows she's in a real marathon contest with Barack Obama.

So while Senator Obama is the first Black politician ever to win the first state to caucus in the arcane process, Hillary will survive Iowa.

Watch her come out fighting in New Hampshire next Tuesday...


Gregg said...

There are two key differences: Firstly, Bill didn't run in Iowa (Harkin's home state, and virtually guaranteed to vote for him); Hillary did. Secondly, Bill had badly lost his poll lead by January 1992 and Paul Tsongas was the favourite going into New Hampshire. By coming second, Clinton became the "Comeback Kid". Hillary has continued to dominate the polls.

With his win in Iowa, Obama is a serious contender for Tsunami Tuesday on February 5th. Edwards (who should himself be dubbed the "Comeback Kid" after polling second in Iowa - his funding is a quarter of what Clinton and Obama are on) will almost certainly win in South Carolina, giving his ticket to TT. Clinton needs to win in New Hampshire and Nevada. If she does that, she should carry most of the states on TT and the race will be over right there. If she comes second in NH and Nevada, she'll lose momentum and the race will continue between her and Obama; if she somehow comes third in those two states, as she did in Iowa, she'll be eclipsed by Obama and Edwards - the race will carry on between those two (favouring Obama), with Clinton struggling to stay in it.

Gregg said...

Incidentally, Iowa is the 30th state in terms of population (some 3m people), and the 26th in terms of size, so it's middling rather than tiny. New Hampshire, on the other hand, is tiny, running 41st by populaton (ust over 1m) and 46th in terms of size. The candidate will be literally tripping over each other for the next few days.

fairdealphil said...

thanks for the info Gregg...fascinating stuff.

so what's your prediction for who each party eventually runs with - and who will win...?