Since the beginning of this presidential cycle, Iowa, the state with a seemingly unshakeable inferiority complex, has feared its relevance in the presidential nominating process could be compromised if any number of events happened to transpire:
-- If Iowa was leap-frogged on the primary calendar, it could lose its relevance as the nation's first nominating contest.
-- If Iowa crowned a candidate who spent too little time campaigning in the state, it could lose its relevance in the eyes of the media, which pumps money (and energy) into the state by pushing the narrative that Iowans favor candidates who invest time in the state.
-- If Iowa crowned a candidate who's too conservative, it could lose its relevance in the eyes of the eyes of the Republican establishment, which favors electability over ideology and has long been wary of the Hawkeye State's homogeneous, evangelical electorate.
-- If Iowa crowned a candidate who's too moderate, it could lose its relevance in the eyes of Iowans themselves, who take pride in coalescing around the candidacy of a conservative standard-bearer capable of challenging the establishment favorite.
-- If Iowa crowned a candidate who stood no shot of winning the White House, it would lose its relevance as a state that's, well, relevant.
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