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THE IOWA SCENE

Holding the Democrats accountable today, tomorrow...forever.

 IOWA CAUCUS PERSPECTIVES:

 

WHILE THE EARLY WEEKS OF THE 2004 Iowa political hunt were dominated by discussion about the possible military action against Iraq with some criticizing the Bush policy and others defending their pro-resolution support in Congress the impact the Iraq situation will have on the caucuses may be in doubt for month, possibly right up to the caucuses. History shows that Iowa Democrats have tended to support more moderate, centrist candidates when it comes time to actually cast their caucus votes. 

THE RECORD AND PERSPECTIVE: Des Moines Register Columnist David Yepsen wrote that the state is more dovish than much of the rest of the country. And peace activists can generate a lot more press attention than the hawksBut its also true that throughout the history of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, its often been the more centrist candidates who do well or win. Yepsen cites the history: In 1972, McGovern finished second to Muskie. In 1976, Carter won over Fred Harris, Mo Udall and Sargent Shriver. In 1980, Carter secured a 2-1 caucus victory over Ted Kennedy. In 1984, Mondale got nearly half the votes with Hart at 16.5 percent. In 1988, Gephardt got 31 percent of the delegates. In 2000, Yepsen added, Al Gore in the center beat Bill Bradley on the left almost 2-1. Yepsen concluded his column with a bottom-line observation: The real issue in a caucus isnt Iraq. Its getting 270 electoral votes.

 

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