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Iowa Caucus History

Every four years since 1972, Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses have helped “hire” the president of the United States. In fact, every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter has finished among the top three in the Iowa caucuses – except when Iowa’s own Tom Harkin ran in 1992.

Iowans take this responsibility and privilege seriously. They are engaged and informed. They ask tough questions that force candidates to address a spectrum of issues. Activists in Iowa often raise topics and policy positions that also are important to activists in the national party.

This responsibility and privilege comes again on Feb. 3, 2020, when Iowans will gather in auditoriums, gymnasiums and other places across the state to shape the future of the United States and the world.

Learn more about how the Iowa Caucuses started -- and how they've evolved -- at an exhibit on display September 2019 through February 2020 at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, a block west of the State Capitol.
 

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DEMOCRATIC PARTY RESULTS

2016

Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders
Martin O'Malley

2012

Barack Obama (Unopposed)

2008

Barack Obama
John Edwards
Hillary Clinton

2004

John Kerry
John Edwards
Howard Dean

2000

Al Gore
Bill Bradley

1996

Bill Clinton (Unopposed) 

1992

Tom Harkin
Uncommitted 
Paul Tsongas
Bill Clinton 

1988

Richard Gephardt
Paul Simon
Michael Dukakis

1984

Walter Mondale
Gary Hart
George McGovern

1980

Jimmy Carter
Ted Kennedy

1976

Uncommitted
Jimmy Carter

REPUBLICAN PARTY RESULTS

2016

Ted Cruz
Donald Trump
Marco Rubio
Ben Carson
Rand Paul
Jeb Bush
Carly Fiorina
John Kasich
Mike Huckabee
Chris Christie
Rick Santorum
Jim Gilmore

2012

Rick Santorum
Mitt Romney
Ron Paul
Newt Gingrich
Rick Perry
Michele Bachmann
Jon Huntsman

2008

Mike Huckabee
Mitt Romney
Fred Thompson
John McCain

2004

George W. Bush (Unopposed)

2000

George W. Bush
Steve Forbes
Alan Keyes

1996

Bob Dole
Pat Buchanan 

1992

George H.W. Bush (Unopposed)

1988

Bob Dole
Pat Robertson
George H.W. Bush

1984

Ronald Reagan (Unopposed) 

1980

George H.W. Bush
Ronald Reagan 

1976

Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan