“As Maine goes, so goes the nation” is an old political saying from the 1800s. In 1972, the Iowa caucus became the first political event of the U.S. presidential election.
The winner of the Iowa caucus, however, is not guaranteed of being that political party’s presidential nominee. “As Iowa goes, so goes Iowa” is a joke that was said by political satirist Mark Russell in 1988.
Wikipedia: Iowa caucuses
The Iowa Caucus is an electoral event in which residents of the U.S. state of Iowa meet in precinct caucuses in all of Iowa’s 1,681 precincts and elect delegates to the corresponding county conventions. There are 99 counties in Iowa, and thus there are 99 conventions. These county conventions then select delegates for both Iowa’s Congressional District Convention and the State Convention, which eventually choose the delegates for the presidential nominating conventions. About 1% of the nation’s delegates are chosen by the Iowa State Convention.
The Iowa Caucus is noteworthy for the amount of media attention it receives during U.S. presidential election years. Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States. Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have had a 43% success rate at predicting which Democratic candidate for president and a 50% success rate at predicting which Republican candidate for president will go on to win the nomination of their political party at that party’s national convention, though they may more reliably indicate which ones are likely to drop out owing to lack of support.
12 April 1988, Boston (MA) Herald, “The Eye” by Norma Nathan, pg. 6, col. 3:
(Political satirist Mark Russell.—ed.)
On Iowa: “What a worthless exercise the Iowa caucus was. (Robert) Dole won, (Richard) Gephardt won, and (Pat) Robertson beat (George) Bush. As Iowa goes, so goes Iowa.”
4 January 2008, Investor’s Business Daily, “Hawkeyed Voting”:
Election ‘08: Pundits can complain their talking heads off about the Iowa caucuses, but having Midwesterners gathering to decide who will be the world’s most powerful leader is both wholesome and inspirational.
The columnist Mark Shields once quipped, “As Iowa goes, so goes Iowa.” And the Hawkeye State’s questionable significance as the first big contest for presidential candidates has certainly been an issue on more than one occasion.
@rollcallpols Remember… As Iowa goes; so goes… Iowa! This is same event that sells fried butter on a stick!
8:20 PM - 13 Aug 2011
The Wall Street Journal
As Iowa Goes, So Goes Iowa
For all of the media hoopla, GOP caucusgoers in the Hawkeye State have a poor record of choosing their party’s eventual nominee.
By MICHAEL BARONE
December 27, 2011
I don’t have anything against Iowa’s Republican caucusgoers. They’re nice people, good Americans, conscientious and aware of their responsibilities as voters in the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. (Iowa Democratic caucusgoers are like this too.)
But the Iowa Republican caucuses have a poor record in choosing their party’s nominees.
You know what they say.."as Iowa goes...so goes Iowa” #IowaCaucus
11:54 PM - 1 Feb 2016