Iowa's role in one of the nation's biggest stories was over by January 3rd the earliest date of the Iowa Caucuses ever. Iowans came out on a frosty night in record numbers to schools and other meeting places to be heard and counted.
(Mike Huckabee, Caucus night) "I like Iowa a whole lot."
Mike Huckabee won the Republican count but would later drop out of the race. And Barack Obama won the most democratic delegates. The win legitimized Obama and his campaign. Stopping here on May 20th, Obama remembered Iowa.
The day he pulled far enough ahead of Hillary Clinton to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. Obama also jammed thousands into a downtown Des Moines park just five days before the general election. The general election changed nothing in the composition of Iowa's congressional make. All the incumbents won re-election.
Statehouse politics however, followed the national trends as democrats made gains. The fall election pushed the democrats to a 56-44 majority in the house while in the senate expanded to a 12 seat margin.
The republican losses also provoked a shift in GOP leadership in the house, with Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha winning the minority leader's position in the house. Across the rotunda Senator Paul McKinley of Chariton will lead the Republicans.
The state's GOP will also be picking a new party leader in the New Year.