Republican presidential candidates have gathered in the Hawkeye State today for the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. For Jimmy Carter, the 1976 Iowa Caucus propelled his campaign into the national spotlight.
Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter began his presidential bid as an unknown, referred to by the press as “Jimmy Who?” The campaign was organized by amateurs and the Carter family traveled the country speaking at rallies, shopping centers, and factories. Backing them was the “Peanut Brigade,” Georgia volunteers who worked in every caucus and primary.
At the 1976 Iowa Caucus, Jimmy Carter captured national media attention by winning the most votes for a candidate. The victory in Iowa introduced his campaign to a larger audience and made Carter the Democratic party’s leading vote-getter.
Pictured here, Jimmy Carter during a campaign rally, 1976. From the Carter Library.