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MISSING MAN: Romney Missing From GOP Dinner

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Iowa is once again poised to get a lot of attention from presidential candidates going into the election this November. Many political strategists put the Hawkeye state on a short list of critical swing states.

The New York Times found that just nine states are too close to call for November and Iowa is on that list. Republicans say they have the momentum to beat President Obama here in Iowa, but at their annual Lincoln Dinner Saturday night, there was hardly a mention of the person whose job it is to make that happen.

Republicans are enthusiastic right now. Last month, they learned that for the first time in six years, there are more registered Republicans than Democrats here in Iowa. But for a party that wants to put a Republican in the White House, they sure talked about the Democrat President a lot.

Nearly 400 Iowans attended the Republican Party of Iowa's annual fundraiser, the Lincoln Dinner Sunday night. Guest speaker and Virginia State's Attorney Ken Cuccinelli's speech focused on what he says is the failed and overreaching powers President Obama used to pass the Federal Health Care Act. In fact, all of the speakers expressed their desire to get Obama out of the White House. But one name you didn't hear a lot was Mitt Romney. One Republican strategist says it doesn't surprise him.

Rick Santorum just pulled out of the race last month, and Newt Gingrich, last week.

John Stineman says right now, the common denominator for Republicans is their frustration over Barack Obama.

“You have to remember what brings people from a party together that have been fighting on 4 or 5 or 6 different sides through the caucuses is that they have a common opponent. So Saturday night focusing on a common opponent is a reminder why they do need to come together,” says Stineman.

As for endorsements, Governor Branstad is the only statewide Republican to throw his support in for Romney. However, Stineman says not to worry. He thinks other heavy hitters like Senator Grassley and Representatives Latham and King are biding their time to get the most attention at their announcements.