POLITICS

A Reminder To Ted Cruz: Iowa Often Gets It Wrong

Just ask Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee.

Iowa may be the first in the nation to vote in the presidential primaries, but first doesn't always mean right. In the months between the Iowa caucuses and the Republican and Democratic conventions, a lot can change.

Since 1972 -- when Iowans became the first in the nation to vote for presidential candidates -- only three non-incumbents have won both Iowa and then the general election.

In 2012, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney were virtually tied. Romney ended up losing by a hair, but went on to score his party's nomination. 

Meanwhile, in 2008, Mike Huckabee swept in Iowa. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) went on win the Republican nomination. 

All of this means that, though Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) triumphed this year, he should still watch his back in the months to come. Donald Trump is expected to sweep New Hampshire. 

Here's a look back at the Hawkeye State's history of getting it wrong:

  • Bill Clinton
    Future president Bill Clinton lost in the 1992 Iowa caucuses to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Hard to beat a hometown he
    BEN RUSNAK via Getty Images
    Future president Bill Clinton lost in the 1992 Iowa caucuses to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Hard to beat a hometown hero. He went on to win both his party's nomination and of course the general election.
  • George H.W. Bush
    Future president George H.W. Bush didn't even come close to victory in Iowa during the 1988 caucuses. He scored just&nbs
    Boston Globe via Getty Images
    Future president George H.W. Bush didn't even come close to victory in Iowa during the 1988 caucuses. He scored just 18.6% of the vote, compared to Kansas Sen. Bob Dole's 37%.
  • Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan lost to George H.W. Bush in the 1980 Iowa caucuses, but went on to win his party's nomination and the general e
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Ronald Reagan lost to George H.W. Bush in the 1980 Iowa caucuses, but went on to win his party's nomination and the general election. Bush would of course be named his vice president.
  • Michael Dukakis
    Mass. Governor Michael Dukakis lost the 1988 Iowa caucuses to Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt by over 10%. He won
    Jerry Cleveland via Getty Images
    Mass. Governor Michael Dukakis lost the 1988 Iowa caucuses to Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt by over 10%. He won the nomination, but eventually lost to George H.W. Bush.
  • John McCain
    In 2008, Arizona Sen. and eventual nominee John McCain lost Iowa to none other than former Arkansas Gov. Mike Hucka
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In 2008, Arizona Sen. and eventual nominee John McCain lost Iowa to none other than former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
  • Mitt Romney
    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney only barely lost the 2012 Iowa caucuses to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Sant
    DON EMMERT via Getty Images
    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney only barely lost the 2012 Iowa caucuses to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Santorum edged Romney out by less than 50 votes, but ended up dropping out in April after losing in Wisconsin, Maryland and D.C.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article referred to Iowa as the Buckeye State, which is actually Ohio. Iowa is the Hawkeye State.