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Historical Primary/Caucus Results

By Brian | January 16, 2008 | Share on Facebook

If you’re like me, you’re wondering whether these caucuses and primaries really matter, or whether it’s just something to occupy the news media until the nominating conventions. Here’s some data that may help:

Iowa
Year Democrat Nomination? Republican Nomination?
2004 John Kerry Yes George W. Bush(*) Yes
2000 Al Gore Yes George W. Bush Yes
1996 Bill Clinton(*) Yes Bob Dole Yes
1992 Tom Harkin No George H.W. Bush(*) Yes
1988 Dick Gephardt No Bob Dole No
1984 Walter Mondale Yes Ronald Reagan(*) Yes
1980 Jimmy Carter Yes George H.W. Bush No
1976 Uncommitted No Gerald Ford Yes
  Success Rate: 62.5% Success Rate: 75%

(*): Ran unopposed

New Hampshire
Year Democrat Nomination? Republican Nomination?
2004 John Kerry Yes George W. Bush(*) Yes
2000 Al Gore Yes John McCain No
1996 Bill Clinton(*) Yes Pat Buchanan No
1992 Paul Tsongas No George H.W. Bush Yes
1988 Michael Dukakis Yes George H.W. Bush Yes
1984 Gary Hart No Ronald Reagan(*) Yes
1980 Jimmy Carter Yes Ronald Reagan Yes
1976 Jimmy Carter Yes Gerald Ford Yes
  Success Rate: 75% Success Rate: 75%

(*): Ran unopposed

So on the one hand, yes, it does matter. Over the last 32 years, Iowa and New Hampshire have successfully predicted roughly 75% of the major party’s nominations. On the other hand, as has been the case more than half the time, the Iowa winners did not win in New Hampshire. So clearly, two of the four will be incorrect this year.

Conclusion? Not really. I think the best we can say is the winners have got to be feeling good about themselves, but it ain’t over yet.

Topics: Political Rantings | No Comments »

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