The number of contestants in the presidential race here in Iowa has shrunk. Retired general Wesley Clark — the latest candidate to enter the Democratic presidential race — decided Sunday not to mount a campaign for support in Iowa’s lead-off Caucuses, and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman is closing down the campaign office he opened here. Kevin McCarthy is the man Lieberman hired to run that now-closing-down Iowa campaign. McCarthy says Lieberman said from day one that he never thought he’d win the Iowa Caucuses, and it made sense to redeploy resources to states where Lieberman has a shot at performing well. McCarthy says from now on, Lieberman will have a “minimal” presence in Iowa.Lieberman is considered a moderate, and many of the Democrats who attend Iowa’s Caucuses tend to favor more liberal-leaning candidates. Lieberman has floundered nationally in fundraising and in the polls, and over the weekend he met with key supporters to rechart his campaign strategy. Iowa’s Caucuses were the jumping point for then-Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign and ever since 1976 they’ve played a key role in selecting the Democratic party’s nominee. With the exception of 1992 when Iowa native Tom Harkin ran for President and other candidates chose not to compete here, no presidential candidate who has bypassed Iowa has ever won his party’s presidential nomination.
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