DES MOINES, Iowa — If she can beat Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to win the Iowa caucuses.
It’s something one expert says many Iowans have been waiting for for a long time.
Michael Mauro, Iowa’s former secretary of state, said there was only one national reporter to get the Iowa Caucus results in 1972. There was no real interest, Mauro said.
He also remembers the moment in 1976 when Jimmy Carter clinched the Iowa Caucuses.
“He comes out of Iowa finishing second in the caucuses, uncommitted came in first, but it got a lot of momentum. Media picked it up and said, who is this guy? The momentum carried him through, and I’ll be darned, he got elected president,” Mauro said.
And the rest is history.
The Iowa caucuses became a political juggernaut, and this year is no exception.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, to be perfectly honest,” Mauro said.
And just like the 2008 caucuses made history, when an African American won Iowa, and ultimately the presidency, for the first time in history.
This year could also have a history-making result.
Dianne Bystrom is the director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.
“Hillary Clinton is campaigning more this election cycle than in 2008 on the historic nature of the first woman president. Quite frankly, that is something women and men in this country have been looking forward to for a long time,” Bystrom said.
She said the United States has some catching up to do.
“For a country like the United States, we are way behind other democracies, in the representation of women. Not only in Congress, but certainly as president or prime minister,” Bystrom said.
Iowans will have the first say in the matter as they continue to watch history in the making.
“It’s a big thrill. And that’s why people here should be enjoying their opportunities because we’re seeing it up close and personal,” Mauro said.
Of course, Carly Fiorina could do the same on the Republican side, but her standing in polls makes that a long shot.