A source at the DNC reminded me of an interesting piece of history: the Iowa caucus is a great predictor who of who won't become president. The caucus has only been the country's first nominating event since 1972, and its record is pretty awful: George H. W. Bush in 1980, Bob Dole and Dick Gephardt in 1988, favorite son Tom Harkin in 1992, Bob Dole again in 1996, and John Kerry in 2004.

In fact, the 2000 election was the only time since 1972 that the non-incumbent victor in Iowa managed to win the presidency and in that year, both parties' nominees were Iowa winners.

So why exactly does the Iowa caucus have this exalted status in the primary/caucus system? How did it worm its way into our political traditions, and why does it deserve to keep its position?

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