Iowa, where White House dreams live and die

While political fortunes can be made in Iowa, which is located on the plains between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, the state is not always a harbinger of election successVoters take a first stab at electing Democratic and Republican nominees on Monday in Iowa — a state with a patchy record of picking the eventual US president but which can easily recast the race. Without Iowa, there would be no President Obama — his win over John Edwards and Hillary Clinton in the first-in-the-nation race in 2008 catapulted the gangly junior Illinois senator into the national and international spotlight. It was on a frigid 2007 winter day in Des Moines that Obama launched his campaign and Iowa is the state where, five years later, he held his final rally for re-election.

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