July 8, 2012


Battling for every Iowa vote (JENNIFER JACOBS, 7/08/12, Des Moines Register)

Some of the once-euphoric Iowans who inspired the nation to embrace Barack Obama in 2008 are experiencing a deep-seated buyer's remorse over their role in delivering the White House to a candidate they think has let them down.

Take longtime Democrat Debbie Smith. Four years ago, she wore the Obama T-shirts, went to his rallies, made her first campaign contribution and caucused for the first time.

"I wish to have my vote back," said Smith, 51, a small business owner from Clive. "I feel completely responsible, and I feel like I need to tell people this."

A sense of betrayal shows up in Iowa polling conducted by rival Mitt Romney's campaign, said its pollster, Neil Newhouse.

It's a discomfiting hurdle for Obama in a state he professes to have strong emotional ties with, that he won by a landslide four years ago, and that could prove pivotal this year for him or for Romney. [...]

It's a fusillade of campaigning in a state that was not high on team Romney's target list for the general election just a few months ago. After all, Obama won Iowa in 2008 by a decisive 9.54 percentage points. Today, the race in Iowa is too close to call, a rolling average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.com shows.

When polling showed Obama struggling here, and when his re-election campaign started dumping money and its top stars into the Hawkeye State, the Republican campaign didn't need any more clues that Iowa is up for grabs.

"We know how to hunt where the ducks are," said Romney political director Rich Beeson in an interview at the campaign's national headquarters in Boston.

Posted by at July 8, 2012 9:12 AM

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