Presidential Campaigning Picking Up Speed in Iowa
By Dave Franzman, Reporter
WATERLOO, Iowa - Iowa’s already considered one of the few swing states in Presidential politics. And the next eight days in the state will really drive home that point.
Former Governor Mitt Romney is already in the state preparing for a private event in West Des Moines Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, he hosts a public event in Des Moines.
Next Monday, August 13th, President Barack Obama arrives for a three day visit to Iowa. He’ll start next Monday in Council Bluffs and Boone. Tuesday will find the President in Oskaloosa, Marshalltown and Waterloo. He’ll wrap up Wednesday with the First Lady in Dubuque and Davenport.
As for the strategy behind the visits up till now, political insiders in Waterloo said it’s obvious the President was shoring up his political base. Since January, Obama has made trips to Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Newton and Des Moines.
Former Iowa state senator Jim Lind said the list before next week’s visit included mostly areas friendly to Democrats. Lind compares it to marketing 101 in business.
“You go after the customers who are your customers first—not the ones who are undecided," Lind said. "You want to make sure your base is solid."
An appearance in Democrat-leaning Waterloo follows that theory. And others in the Democratic Party see a visit as a definite motivator for both volunteers and supporters.
Allison Rigdon, a Waterloo voter, understood what the politicians are trying to do by appearing in politically friendly territory. But she also said it’s probably time for both to reach out to the true undecided voter.
“If I were running for President, I would be all over the territory trying to change people’s minds,” Rigdon said.
Romney supporters insist their candidate is already going after voters whenever and wherever. They point to visits to both Dubuque and Davenport in June as a sign Romney is not just playing it safe in swing-state Iowa.
Mark Hudson, a co-chair of Lawyers for Romney, said “Governor Romney’s been playing throughout Iowa the entire time. We’ve made phone calls, knocked on doors throughout the state—more so than any other election we’ve had. And interestingly, more of our volunteers are from Democratic strongholds like Johnson County.”
Another spokesperson for the Romney campaign called the three-day election visit buy a sitting President an act of desperation—a sign Obama supporters recognize they’re in trouble in Iowa. But Democrats insist is simply shows the importance Iowa has as one of the few true swing states in the election.
What's On KCRG