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Just How Consequential Is Iowa?

The state that holds the first vetting of the presidential candidates contributes a surprisingly low number of delegates to the national conventions.

By Elizabeth Hagedorn | January 31, 2016

I'm at the media hub here in Des Moines, and it got me thinking. We're going to hear a lot about winners and losers of the Iowa caucuses but keep this in mind. 

The Republican Party has 2,472 delegates at its national convention. A candidate needs 1,237 to win the nomination; Iowa sends 30. They account for 1.2 percent of the delegates in attendance. On the Democratic side, same story: Iowa contributes about 1 percent of the delegates.

Statistically speaking, the state — while great at weeding out candidates — plays a relatively small role in the actual nomination process. Its role in American politics — that's another story.

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