Will the '08 Race Begin and End in Iowa?

— -- Will the 2008 presidential race boil down to the state where it all began?

Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus, held on Jan. 3, 2008, launched Sen. Barack Obama onto the Democratic presidential map when he emerged victorious with 38 percent of the vote over party rivals Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won 30 and 29 percent, respectively.

Both Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Joe Biden, who later became the Democratic vice presidential nominee, dropped out of the race following Iowa, each capturing less than 1 percent of the vote.

The Hawkeye State wasn't necessarily a predictor of all party destinies. On the Republican side, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee beat former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the top GOP spot in the state. Sen. John McCain, who went on to become the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, tied for third place in Iowa with former Sen. Fred Thompson.

Obama benefits from tremendous ground support in Iowa. His operatives worked hard to win over the supporters of Democratic candidates who left the race long after the caucus date had passed.

McCain faces is vulnerable in Iowa because of his immigration policies and opposition to issues that effect local interests.

Iowa backed Democrat Al Gore in 2000 and Republican incumbent President George Bush in 2004.


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