BATTLEGROUND STATE: Contested Campaign In Iowa

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Iowa is known for its first in the nation status to kick off the presidential election process. Now as the focus shifts to the general election Iowa will again play a critical role.

Iowa is one of 12 battleground states and its six electoral votes could swing the election. That means a lot of campaigning between now and then.

“There really is no path to the White House for either campaign that doesn’t go through the state of Iowa right now because of the closeness,” says political consultant Porter McNeil.

He says the proof that candidates are vying for Iowa votes is already on the airwaves.

President Obama’s campaign has launched a new TV ad in Iowa and other battleground states. It goes after Republican challenger Mitt Romney for outsourcing jobs and siding with big oil companies.

President Obama made a stop in Iowa City just last week and Mitt Romney is no stranger to Iowa himself. Strategists expect he’ll be back before the November election.

New numbers from the Iowa Secretary of State suggest the number of registered voters in the state is starting to favor the GOP.

In March, the Republican Party of Iowa surpassed the Iowa Democratic Party for the first time since 2006.

At the end of April, registered Republicans totaled more than 608,000. That’s about 9,000 more than registered Democrats.

Most registered voters do not affiliate with a party, with 669,000 Iowans choosing no party.