Rich Galen

In spite of that, 58 percent said that it would be a "deal killer" if a candidate "Supports civil unions for gay and lesbian couples" which is interesting in that same-sex marriages are already legal in Iowa.

Last cycle there was no incumbent and no heir-apparent on either side.

In the May 2007 Iowa Poll, Romney was leading with 30%, John McCain came in at 18% essentially tied with Rudy Guiliani who was at 17%. Mike Huckabee trailed the field at only 4 percent at this point four years ago.

In the October, 2007 Iowa poll, Hillary Clinton led with 29% with John Edwards (23%) and Barack Obama (22%) essentially tied for second. In the poll released just prior to the actual caucuses in January 2008, the Register poll found Barack Obama (32%) leading Hillary Clinton (25%) and John Edwards (24%).

On the Republican side, that same poll released in December 2007, showed Mike Huckabee leading Mitt Romney 32% to 26%. John McCain came in third at 13% with Ron Paul and Fred Thompson tied at 9%.

When actual Iowans went to their caucuses Obama won with 940 votes (37.6% of the total) with Edwards edging out Clinton by seven - 7 - votes 744 to 737 or 29.7% to 29.5%.

On the GOP side Mike Huckabee cruised to a victory with 34.4% to second place finisher, Mitt Romney's 25.2 percent. Fred Thomason and John McCain tied for third with just over 13%.

In 2004, John Kerry won the Iowa Caucuses and went on to be the Democratic nominee, Four years earlier, when Republicans had a contested primary, George W. Bush won the caucuses won the nomination and the Presidency.

So is Iowa predictive of the ultimate winner? Well, yes and no.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at