Both Romney, Obama Campaigns Confident Momentum is on Their Side
By James Q. Lynch and Rod Boshart, Reporters
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A day ahead of campaign appearances in Iowa by President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney each campaign made the case its candidate is winning.
“Momentum continues to build behind our campaign in Iowa,” Romney spokesman Shawn McCoy said. Romney will fly in for a 7 p.m. rally Oct. 24 at The Eastern Iowa Airport.
However, staffers for Obama, who will visit Davenport Oct. 24, issued a memo Tuesday to say the campaign is increasing its lead in ballots requested and returned. Not only is the Obama campaign maintaining its lead over the Romney campaign, but it is exceeding its 2008 early voting numbers, according to Jeremy Byrd, Obama national field director.
“Democrats have a huge lead in early voting, and that lead is growing every day,” said Obama Iowa Director Brad Anderson. “Democrats lead on every early vote metric – vote-by-mail requests, mail ballots returned, in-person ballots cast and total ballots cast.”
Not long after Anderson’s memo hit media in-boxes, the Romney campaign countered, saying Obama is not doing as well as he did in 2008 despite having a continuous campaign presence in Iowa. Four years ago, Obama led GOP nominee Sen. John McCain by almost 24 points in early voting. Today the lead is just over 8 points with 5,000 fewer Democrats voting than in 2008, Romney staff said on background.
“On the early voting, their math just doesn’t add up – similar to their candidate’s tax plan,” Obama spokesman Ben Finkenbinder said about the Romney campaign’s numbers.
Still, Republicans are encouraged by a higher turnout among independent voters and point to an Oct. 21 Public Policy Polling survey giving Romney an 8-point lead among independents.
That led McCoy to say that “momentum continues to build behind our campaign in Iowa.”
Part of that is due to voter enthusiasm, added Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.
“They’re still way ahead,” Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said, referring to the Democratic early voting effort. “But I think it’s narrowed in recent days.”
“There seems to be an enthusiasm gap of 6 to 8 percent between people enthusiastic about President Obama and people enthusiastic about Romney,” he said.
Obama will have a 10:10 a.m. rally at The Quad at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, 2815 W. Locust St., Davenport Oct. 24.
Also Wednesday, Romney will fly into The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids for a 7 p.m. rally at Landmark Aviation, 9430 Shepard Ct. SW. Doors open at 4 p.m.
In addition to Romney’s visit, his campaign will have support from high-level surrogates:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in Davenport
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in Sioux City, Council Bluffs and Des Moines
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in Mason City and Des Moines
Another high-level surrogate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, reportedly will visit Iowa in the coming days.
However, the Romney campaign is not relying only surrogates. Although not confirmed, the campaign has hinted Romney will be back before the Nov. 6 election.
Tickets for the Romney rally can be picked up at the Cedar Rapids Victory Office, 155 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Wednesday.
Tickets also are available from www.mittromney.com/IA.
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