Obama, Ryan trying to win hearts, minds of Iowans
President trying to rekindle Midwest Magic that propelled him to White House in 2008
President Barack Obama is currently on a three-day bus tour of Iowa to win support for re-election. Iowans lifted Obama from underdog status to Democratic caucus winner, giving him 54 percent of the vote in that 2008's general election. Republican contender Mitt Romney has since sent his vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan to the Iowa State Fair in a bid to steal the president's thunder.
Of course, the feisty Republican Vice Presidential contender is not sitting idly by. He is taking on the President - and the Vice President - and winning a hearing with many Iowans.
Obama said at a campaign rally in Council Bluffs, "If you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities."
However, the House of Representatives actually passed a stopgap farm bill and Rep. Ryan voted for it. Some in the press are actually reporting the discrepancy.
Obama's extended three-day tour is indicative that the president wants to sway Iowans. The state is a swing state that's worth only six electoral votes, a fraction of Ohio's 18 or Florida's 29.
"Iowa is a state that's won on the ground, going door to door, neighbors talking to neighbors and candidates talking directly to Iowans," Obama's Iowa communications director Erin Seidler said.
Current polling shows a close contest in Iowa between Obama and Romney, who campaigned in Iowa last week.
Analysts say the Iowa canvassing demonstrates that Obama is concerned about his slipping popularity. According to Romney Iowa strategist David Kochel, Iowa is a "state he won by nine points four years ago is requiring a three-day bus tour. He's trying to address what is a lot of buyer's remorse out here."
Iowans "feel responsible for launching President Obama," he said. "He's trying to capture some of the magic from four years ago, but the thrill is gone."
Des Moines pollster J. Ann Selzer also says that Obama's decision to spend three consecutive days in Iowa suggests that "he thinks it's that close," and also that he thinks he can "rekindle the fire.
"Every list that talks about how he gets to the number of electoral votes he needs includes Iowa," Selzer said. "It's part psychological for him to come back to a place that felt like maybe it represents the people who understood the promise of his candidacy in 2008 but who also felt disappointment that the promise wasn't exactly delivered."
Obama is actively seeking to reestablish the connections he made four years ago.
"I love being back in Iowa," Obama said in Council Bluffs. Early in the 2008 campaign "you believed me and I believed in you," he said.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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