To sum up, Dean came in third because of his message and Iowa's caucus system. The two were like oil and water. Dean's message on the weakness of the Washington Democrats obviously turned off the other candidates' supporters. So, more of those supporters defended their candidates, and when it came time to reach viability, few were willing to join Dean. Gaining Gep's supporters, as well as the stragglers from counties where Kerry/Edwards were not viable, could have pushed Dean up to 26-28%, and knocked off a point or two from the Senators.
As a Dean supporter, I congratulate the Senators now, but I also believe NH will be far tougher on those two. I think Iowans like a more negotiation-style president, whereas NH likes a tougher, speak-from-the-gut style president. I think the McCain effect will be on Dean's side come NH. But, given that NO ONE predicted Iowa, what do I know?