Vote 2012: President Obama Focusing Campaign Efforts on Eastern Iowa

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Preparations are underway for President Obama’s fourth visit to Iowa this year.

Even though Iowa only has six electoral votes, the Hawkeye State is expected to be a critical state in the November election. It’s one of a handful of battleground states.

On Tuesday, the president will speak at Kirkwood Community College. It’ll be his second trip to Cedar Rapids and his third to Eastern Iowa. He visited Iowa City in the spring. Many are noticing the president’s attention to Eastern Iowa. According to political analysts, it’s all part of the president’s strategy.

Coe College Political Science Professor Bruce Nesmith says there’s a good reason behind the plan. Obama knows it wouldn’t be worth his time to campaign on the western side of the state, where people have voted Republican in recent years. Instead, they say he needs to generate stronger support in areas that vote Democratic like Linn, Johnson and Dubuque Counties.

“If Obama does well, he’ll do well in those counties but he has to do very well in those counties. John Kerry did well in those counties in 2004 and lost the state because Republicans did better in their counties than Kerry did in his counties,” Nesmith said.

Nesmith noted President Obama will likely also spend time campaigning in central Iowa where the larger populations are found. The political science professor also said the candidates need to pay attention to Iowa because every electoral vote will count in what’s expected to be a close election in November.

Other bigger cities across the U.S. aren’t getting as much campaign action because candidates already know which way those people will vote.

“Highly populated places like that are going ignored, yet they’re hitting on Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Davenport really hard. It’s an odd score keeping system by which we elect presidents,” Nesmith said.

Tickets for the visit were first-come, first-served. People claimed all of them in less than 24 hours. If you do have a ticket to the event, doors open at 10:15 Tuesday morning. The campaign encourages anyone to get there early.

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