The history of the Ames poll itself backs this up. Established in 1979, and held every 4 or 8 years (never when a Republican president is up for reelection) on a Saturday in August, it's only correctly presaged the actual nominee twice. In fact, it hasn't aligned very well with the Iowa Caucus winner:
- 1979: George H.W. Bush won the Poll and the Iowa Caucus, but lost the nomination to Ronald Reagan.
- 1987: Pat Robertson won the Poll, Bob Dole won the Caucus and Bush won the nomination.
- 1995: Bob Dole and Phil Gramm tied in the Poll, with Dole winning the caucus before getting his ass kicked by Bill Clinton.
- 1999: George W. Bush ran the table. Well, except for the presidential election.
- 2007: Romney won the Poll, Mike Huckabee the Caucus and John McCain the nomination.