Gretchen's Take

Gretchen's Take: Just how predictive will Iowa be in 2016?

A year of outsiders and unpredictability could flip the script on recent historical trends


Just how predictive is Iowa? Much has been made about the small number of people who will actually vote tonight—in fact, it’s only about 15-percent of the registered voters in the entire state. However, the impact of this early election could still be huge. Historically, it’s played out differently for Republicans and Democrats—at least in recent history.

Since 1976, Iowa has picked three eventual GOP nominees, but just one president, George W. Bush.

On the Democratic side, Iowa’s picked six eventual nominees with two going on to become president, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.

Still, winning Iowa or New Hampshire is still really important because just one person has gone on to win the presidency after losing both—any idea?

Yep, Bill Clinton.

In that same time span, no Republican has been able to do that. No Republican has become the nominee without either Iowa or New Hampshire. So, who knows, this year could be the first time in a year of outsiders and unpredictability—no one could possibly know.