George McGovern finished second in 1972 – the year the modern caucus process started – and still won the Democratic nod. When Jimmy Carter won the presidency in 1976, he finished second in the Iowa caucus to “uncommitted.” George H.W. Bush defeated Ronald Reagan in the 1980 caucus. George H.W. Bush finished third in Iowa in 1988 and won the presidency that year. Michael Dukakis finished third in the 1988 caucus and won the Democratic nomination. Bill Clinton took third place in Iowa in 1992, with 3 percent; Harkin won 76 percent.
If your candidate does not prevail in Iowa, do not be discouraged, keep fighting. It is not over until all the votes have been counted.
Elections are not about who wins, they are about who chooses.