UPHILL BATTLE: President Obama faces an uphill battle for re-election in Iowa
For months, Iowans have seen a slew of messages about Republican Presidential candidates and conservative ideas. It seems the GOP message is hurting President Obama’s chances for re-election.
The latest Iowa Poll isn’t good for the current president. If the election was held today,
Obama would lose a head to head match up against three of the four Republicans, some, by as much as 7%. That match-up is against Ron Paul. The only candidate Obama fared better than in this poll was Newt Gingrich. He beats the former Speaker by 14%. Sunday afternoon, the President got a little help from a long time Democrat Senator as he opened his campaign headquarters here in the metro.
Tom Harkin urges a large group of Obama supporters to get organized and get the word out. The election is eight months away, but the fight to win Iowa is already underway.
“I think people are beginning to realize that quite frankly the candidates the Republicans are putting up are so far to the right that it’s almost kind of scary,” says Democrat Iowa Senator Tom Harkin.
The Republicans have spent months attacking the President’s performance. February’s Register poll found the President’s approval rating in Iowa is just 46%. No President has ever been re-elected with a rating under 49%.
“I think that people are not comfortable and when they’re not comfortable they look to make a change like they did four years ago,” says Republican strategist Mike St. Clair.
St. Clair has worked on countless Republican races over the past 20 years. He says Republicans are one of the reasons why Obama won our state by nearly 10% in ’08.
“Four years ago you had a lot of Republicans who were willing to give Obama a test drive and I think it hasn’t worked out very well for them and as a result they’re looking for someone new this time.”
Another key demographic for the President was the youth vote. In 2008, Iowa had one of the highest youth voter registration rates in the country. Those voters chose the up and comer, Barak Obama 2 to 1 over John McCain.
“It not as exciting generally to be for a new challenger. He’s got his hands full trying to turn out the youth vote that was there for him the last time.”
Obama supporters young and old know that this time they need to be just as passionate, and if it’s possible even more organized.
“We’ve got a heck of a story to tell and we shouldn’t be unafraid to tell it,” says Senator Harkin.
Get ready to hear this campaign appeal over and over the next several months. Senator Harkin says Obama’s biggest accomplishments as President are the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, the Health Care Reform Act, and the success of American auto companies after the bail out.