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Entries in Iowa (243)

Friday
May242013

Rand Paul Impresses Iowa Voters, Still Loses to Hillary Clinton

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Hillary Clinton sits at the top of the pack in a new poll of Iowa voters, but her closest competition is firebrand Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a new poll found.

Clinton would beat rising-star Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., handily, 48 to 37 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today. But Paul trails her by only 4 points.

Paul, 50, traveled to Iowa earlier this month, stoking speculation that he is courting voters for a 2016 run. Incidentally, around the same time he pointedly jabbed Clinton saying that her involvement in the aftermath of the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year made her unfit for “high office.”

Iowa voters have the distinction of being the first to weigh in on the presidential election every four years at the Iowa caucuses.  And the swing state’s 6 electoral votes are often key to reaching the 270 votes needed to win the presidency.

Quinnipiac pollsters believe that Paul’s swing-state travels might be working with voters.

“In general, Senator Paul appears to be the better GOP candidate at this point in Iowa,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. “Part of the reason may be the publicity from his recent high-profile visit to the state, but more likely is that he begins with a solid base of support, the folks who voted for his father [former Texas Rep. Ron Paul] in the 2008 and 2012 caucuses.”

In a state where President Obama’s approval rating is upside down, Iowa voters are also hesitant to back his vice president Joe Biden, who has intimated an openness to another presidential run.

If the election were held today, Biden would lose to Paul 44 to 39 percent. And he trails Rubio by a single point, within the poll’s 2.6 percent margin of error.

Obama won Iowa independents last year by 14 points, but Biden is losing at the moment to both Paul and Rubio among independent voters.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Rand Paul Impresses Iowa Voters, Still Loses to Hillary Clinton

(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Hillary Clinton sits at the top of the pack in a new poll of Iowa voters, but her closest competition is firebrand Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a new poll found.

Clinton would beat rising-star Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., handily, 48 to 37 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today. But Paul trails her by only 4 points.

Paul, 50, traveled to Iowa earlier this month, stoking speculation that he is courting voters for a 2016 run. Incidentally, around the same time he pointedly jabbed Clinton saying that her involvement in the aftermath of the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year made her unfit for “high office.”

Iowa voters have the distinction of being the first to weigh in on the presidential election every four years at the Iowa caucuses.  And the swing state’s 6 electoral votes are often key to reaching the 270 votes needed to win the presidency.

Quinnipiac pollsters believe that Paul’s swing-state travels might be working with voters.

“In general, Senator Paul appears to be the better GOP candidate at this point in Iowa,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. “Part of the reason may be the publicity from his recent high-profile visit to the state, but more likely is that he begins with a solid base of support, the folks who voted for his father [former Texas Rep. Ron Paul] in the 2008 and 2012 caucuses.”

In a state where President Obama’s approval rating is upside down, Iowa voters are also hesitant to back his vice president Joe Biden, who has intimated an openness to another presidential run.

If the election were held today, Biden would lose to Paul 44 to 39 percent. And he trails Rubio by a single point, within the poll’s 2.6 percent margin of error.

Obama won Iowa independents last year by 14 points, but Biden is losing at the moment to both Paul and Rubio among independent voters.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May112013

Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal Visit Early Primary States

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- It may seem like the 2012 presidential race just ended, but two Republicans stoked speculation that they could be in the running in 2016 when they addressed groups Friday evening in the two earliest of early states: Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., addressed the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal headlined a fundraiser for the Republican Senate Majority Committee in Manchester, the campaign committee for the 13-member GOP caucus in the New Hampshire state Senate.

Jindal gave a blunt prescription for a more successful Republican Party, telling the crowd at the Manchester Radisson that he won’t just attack the president and feed the crowd “bright, red meat.” Instead, he focused on “where do we go as a Republican Party.”

“We lost an election that we probably should have won,” Jindal said. “It’s time to get over it. … I think we can win elections by sticking to our principals, but I do think we need to make some changes and I think we need to think seriously about where we go from here.”

Jindal warned the crowd of Republicans to look “forward,” not backwards, and, in a clear reference to Mitt Romney’s failed attempt at the White House, said Republicans must “fight for every single vote, not 53 percent to 47 percent, we need to fight for 100 percent, we need to fight for every single vote."

“We need to have the confidence and we need to have the courage to say our principals, our policies, our beliefs help every American join the middle class, and if we want voters to like us we’ve got to like them first,” Jindal said. “Let the the Democratic Party start dividing people by groups, by subgroups, by special interests. We will have none of that. We view everybody as Americans first, and we are going to treat them like that.”

Jindal spent most of his speech on two topics: improving education in this country with more school choice and charter schools, as well as persuading Republicans to quit the austerity talk and focus on “growth and opportunity” and growing the middle class.

On education, a topic Jindal often talks about in both Louisiana and nationally, he told the audience to “let the dollars follow the child, don’t make the child follow the dollars.” He added that a “bright teacher in the classroom is the single most important thing we can do.”

Jindal also spent part of his address speaking about his family and personal story, noting his father grew up in India with no running water or electricity and was the first person in his family to go to school past the fifth grade.

“We spent too much time last year criticizing the other side without saying what we were going to do instead, without saying what we were for,” he said.

“We allowed them to characterize us instead of saying we stand for the middle class,” Jindal said. “We want everybody to have that American dream that my dad pursued, that your parents and grandparents pursued.”

“This is more than just winning an election,” he said. “This is about winning a very important debate where we go as a country.”

He told those listening to take that into account before they supported future candidates.

“As we decide the candidate we support, the leaders we rally around … I would hope we would rally around those candidates and those leaders who stand for what is right, not just what is popular,” Jindal said.

He did not mention the possibility that he might be included in that group of future candidates.

Paul’s speech focused on two issues he has been closely aligned with recently: the investigation into the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, as well as comprehensive immigration reform.

The Kentucky senator’s Benghazi comments were expected after he took former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to task earlier Friday for her handling of the terrorist attacks. In an op-ed article in the Washington Times, he wrote that Clinton “should never hold high office again,” and he repeated that charge in Cedar Rapids Friday night, earning a huge cheer from the crowd.

“There were a lot of mistakes made at the time,” Paul said. “Maybe at the time, maybe after the time, cover up this and that. But what was always been most important to me is what happened in the six months leading up to this, because there is no excuse in the six months leading up to this when your people on the ground – military people and State Department people – are asking for more help. They are asking for security, they are pleading for security and they got nothing. It was inexcusable, it was a dereliction of duty and it should preclude her from holding higher office.”

When discussing immigration, Paul noted that not everyone in the room would agree with him, including Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who spoke before Paul.

“I am in favor of immigration reform,” Paul said.

He added that he could vote for immigration reform legislation if more border security was added.

“Am I worried a little bit about it? Yes. I’m worried I might offend some people,” Paul told the group of Iowans. “I’m also worried [about] whether it works or not, if it doesn’t work, and the people who vote for it will catch blame for it. But I don’t want to just say I’m voting no and I’m not going to be for it. I do want to try and fix it, because I think there is a problem.”

Like Jindal, Paul said Republicans need to grow the party and be the party of all Americans, adding, “we need to attract the Latino vote. This is a very practical thing and I’m not ashamed to admit it. ”

“We need to attract the African-American vote,” Paul said, noting his appearance at historically black Howard University last month. “We need to change the way we are talking about it and who we are if we want to attract the Latino vote. … We need to treat immigrants with dignity and respect.

“We will get people to consider us as a party,” he said, “but they won’t if we don’t show up.”

Paul reprised many of the themes of a speech he gave in March when he first endorsed comprehensive immigration reform, saying, “If you want to work in our country, I want to find a place for you to work.”

“The people are here and there is a certain sense of de facto amnesty in that they are not going home, and their kids will be voting, and if their kids think we are hostile to them, they are never going to vote for us,” Paul said. “We are an increasingly diverse nation and I think we do need to reach out to people who don’t look like us, who don’t wear the same clothes, aren‘t exactly who we are. We need to reach out."

In a sense, it was a homecoming for Paul. The Iowa GOP leadership is made up of loyalists from his father Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign. After the botched reporting of the 2012 caucus results that initially put Mitt Romney on top, only to be corrected two weeks later with Rick Santorum as the true victor, the old players were out after the cycle, replaced by the top members of Paul’s Iowa team, including the present Iowa GOP chairman A.J. Spiker, who served as vice chairman of Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign.

Both Paul and Jindal, along with Hillary Clinton, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and others are already the subject of speculation as potential presidential contenders in 2016, but as recently as January, Jindal said it was way too soon for speculating.

“Any Republican that’s thinking about running for president in 2016 needs to get his head examined,” Jindal told reporters after delivering a speech at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in January.

In that same speech, he had some tough language for his party.

“We must stop being the stupid party,” he said. “It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. It’s time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.”

Jindal mentioned that speech Friday night in New Hampshire, noting his 9-year-old son made him put a dollar in the “bad word jar” after that phrase was heavily covered. He said what he “meant by that that was we’ve got to present thoughtful policy solutions to the American people … not just 30 second solutions.”

Paul will also head to New Hampshire later this month to headline a fundraiser for the state GOP on May 20.

While he is in Iowa this weekend, he is also planning on meeting with the Iowa Federation of Republican Women and attend a fundraiser for Iowa’s Johnson County GOP.

It may be worth noting that, according to Kentucky law, unlike other states, a candidate cannot run for both the U.S. Senate and president of the United States simultaneously, so Paul will have to choose one in the coming years.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May042013

Rep. Steve King Passes on Iowa Senate Seat

OFFICE OF REP. STEVE KING(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Steve King of Iowa, an outspoken conservative firebrand, will not seek the Republican nomination for his state’s open Senate seat, ABC News has learned.

“I will not run for Senate in 2014,” King said in a tweet Friday evening. “A Senate race takes me out of urgent battles in Congress that can’t wait until 2015. Many thanks to all.”

The prospect of King’s candidacy to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, worried the Republican establishment in Washington. He was singled out by American Crossroads, the leading GOP outside advocacy group, as a candidate who would struggle to win a general election.

King pledged to ignore the criticism, but Republican aides said it became clear in recent weeks that fundraising would be a steep challenge, given his outspoken views on a variety of issues, particularly immigration.

Harkin is retiring after three decades in Washington.

The decision by King opened the door to other Republican candidates, but also suggested Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat, had the upper hand – for now, at least.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan242013

Iowa DREAMers Will Get Licenses

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Iowa's state government ruled on Wednesday that DREAMers will be eligible for driver's licenses, a reversal of its previous position.

The Iowa Department of Transportation issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon stating that "it can now issue driver's licenses or nonoperator identification (ID) cards to persons granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA]."

According to the agency, the decision was made based on guidance issued last week by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that said that young undocumented workers granted a two-year reprieve from deportation under the DACA program are "lawfully present" in the country.

Each state has the ability to determine whether to award licenses to deferred action recipients, and several, including Iowa, said DREAMers would not be eligible because they did not have "legal status."

Iowa DOT released a statement in December explaining its decision was based on the fact that deferred action "does not grant lawful status or a lawful immigration path to persons granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status. Rather, it is prosecutorial discretion extended in a blanket fashion to persons who are not lawfully authorized to be present in the United States."

States such as Arizona, Nebraska and Michigan fell into the same category, which angered immigrant rights groups that said states should issue licenses because the program awards people the right to work in the country.

Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad said during a Tuesday news conference that he was asking the DOT to review the state's policy to not issue licenses in light of the updated USCIS guidelines, and the decision to award the licenses was reached on Wednesday.

Iowa is unlikely to be the last state to reconsider the issue in light of the new guidelines.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov062012

Tearful Obama Ends Campaign in Iowa

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- At one point even feeling the need to wipe a tear from his eye, President Obama ended his presidential campaign Monday night with an emotional appeal to voters in the state that started it all, asking Iowans to help him finish what he started four years ago.

“We have made real progress over these last four years,” the president told an estimated crowd of 20,000 standing outside in the bitter cold.  “But Iowa we are here tonight because we have more work to do.  We are not done yet on this journey.  We have more road to travel.”

Just steps away from the campaign office set up for his victory in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, a nostalgic Obama told Iowans they taught him “to bet on hope.”

“To all of you who have lived and breathed the hard work of change, I want to thank you.  You took this campaign and you made it your own,” he said as he wiped away a tear streaming from his left eye.

Obama concluded the final event of his self-proclaimed “last campaign” by retelling the story of Edith Childs, the South Carolina woman who coined his “fired up, ready to go” rallying cry.  It’s the same anecdote he told in the final rally of his 2008 campaign.

“That shows you what one voice can do.  One voice can change a room.  And if it can change a room, it can change a city.  And if it can change a city, it can change a state.  And if it can change a state, it can change a nation.  And if it can change a nation, it can change a world,” Obama said as he fought through a hoarse voice at his third rally of the day in as many states.

The president said that he’d tried to arrange for Childs to attend this final rally, but she told him she still believed he could win North Carolina on Tuesday, and she was going to knock on doors to help get out the vote.

“Iowa, in 2008 your voice changed the world.  And Edith Childs asked me to ask you that if you’re willing to still stand with me tomorrow… If you’re willing to make sure we finish what we started, she’s pretty sure we’ll win Iowa.  She’s pretty sure we’ll win this election,” he continued to cheers and applause.

“She just had one question for you.  Are you fired up?,” he asked as the crowd chanted back “ready to go!”  “Iowa, tomorrow let’s remind the world just why the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov052012

Paul Ryan Tells Iowa Crowd: ‘We Have the Momentum’

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(DES MOINES, Iowa) – Paul Ryan held the last Romney 2012 campaign event in Iowa Monday evening, flying in from Colorado for a brief airplane hangar rally to the place where the presidential choosing contest begins: the first caucus state of Iowa. He told several hundred people his ticket will be victorious Tuesday.

“That’s why we need your help,” Ryan said, standing in front of a huge “Victory in Iowa” banner.  "That’s why we have momentum. That’s why we are going to win. And that’s why we only have one more day before we get us on the right track.”

The GOP vice presidential candidate gave a nod to the state’s caucus pride, saying they really get to know the candidates in a way other states don’t have the opportunity.

“Look, in Iowa, you have every presidential candidate in your own kitchens,” Ryan said, before referring to Obama. “I mean you really get to know candidates, and what has he been doing? He spent the entire summer and fall just trying to discredit and destroy Mitt Romney. He spent the entire time to distract you, trying to distort, trying to win an election by default, because he could not run on his record.”

This stop was the candidate’s third event and third time zone of the whirlwind day before voters go to the polls. He’s already stopped in Nevada and Colorado and still has Ohio and his home state of Wisconsin to go.

He noted that his 12 events here since being chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate means, “We’ve kind of gotten know each other these last few months.”

The most recent Des Moines Register poll shows the president with a five-point advantage with 47 percent support to 42 percent for Romney. It’s a critical state for both campaigns and while Romney stopped Sunday, the president holds his final campaign rally in Des Moines late Monday night. It was Obama’s success in the 2008 Iowa caucuses that gave his candidacy the initial push, leading many months later to victory.

Whether his ticket is successful or not Tuesday, if Paul Ryan may have presidential aspirations of his own – which considering his trajectory, youth, and the fact he seriously considered entering the 2012 field is quite likely, he's expected to be back to Iowa often. From the state fair to the Pizza Ranches, and yes even in Iowans’ kitchens, this state gets to choose first, buoying struggling candidacies while at times ending others.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov052012

Romney Kicks Off Whirlwind Tour of Battleground States in Iowa

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Mitt Romney made his final stop in the battleground state of Iowa on Sunday, on a day that took him to Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania before midnight.

He had visited Iowa even before announcing his candidacy last June, and this was his 21st campaign event in Iowa this year alone.  Romney made his final argument for voters to come to the polls for him, stressing the importance of the state on Election Day.

“This is much more than our moment.  It’s America’s moment of renewal and purpose and optimism,” he said.  “We’ve journeyed far and wide in this great campaign for America’s future, and now we’re almost home.  One final push will get us there.  We’ve known many long days and short nights, and now we’re close.”

“The door to a brighter future is there, open, waiting for us.  I need your vote, I need your work, I need your help.  Walk with me.  We’ll walk together.  Let’s begin anew.  I need Iowa -- I need Iowa so we can win the White House and take back America, keep it strong, make sure we always remain the hope of the earth.  I’m counting on you.  Will you get the job done?” Romney shouted.

Romney’s voice sounded hoarse at times and he flubbed one of his most frequently used lines, saying that employment, rather than unemployment, had risen under President Obama.

But appearing more energized toward the end of his speech, Romney began to rally the crowd of more than 4,000, many of whom banged noise makers and waved American flags.

“This is a campaign about America and about the future we’re going to leave our children,” he said.  “We thank you, we ask you to stay with it.  All the way.  All the way to our victory on Tuesday night!”

Romney has made seven stops in Iowa alone since the Republican National Convention in August.  The latest Des Moines Register poll showed Obama ahead in the state, 47-42 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct262012

Romney Delivers Closing Argument, Touts Big Change

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(AMES, Iowa) – Mitt Romney delivered a closing argument in Iowa Friday, repackaging his familiar talking points into a prepared speech that promoted his idea of a “big change” election.

“This election is a choice, a choice between the status quo — going forward with the same policies of the last four years — or instead, choosing real change, change that offers promise, promise that the future will be better than the past,” said Romney, who delivered his remarks outside a construction company on a blustery, cold day in Central Iowa.

The speech was previewed by campaign aides as an opportunity for Romney to outline the “stark” economic job and policy differences between the Republican candidate and President Obama. And for a candidate who has stayed relentlessly on message since announcing his presidential campaign in the Spring of 2011, much of Romney’s remarks in Iowa Friday were identical to those made over the course of his campaign as he’s weaved in and out of swing states across the country.

“This election is about big things, like the education of our children, the value of our homes, the take home pay from our jobs, the price of the gasoline we buy and the choices we have in our health care,” Romney said. “It’s also about the big things that determine these things, like the growth of the economy, the strength of our military, our dependence on foreign oil and America’s leadership in the world.”

Romney placed particular emphasis on his promise to work across party lines if elected, telling the crowd that he would “work tirelessly to bridge the divide between the political parties.”

“The president’s campaign falls far short of the magnitude of these times. And the presidency of the last four years has fallen far short of the promises of the last campaign. Four years ago, America voted for a post-partisan president, but they have seen the most partisan and political of presidents, and a Washington in gridlock because of it,” said Romney.

Romney said that he and his running mate Paul Ryan would meet with Democratic and Republican leadership “regularly” if elected.

“We’re going to look for common ground and shared principles, and put the interests of the American people above the interests of the politician,” said Romney. “I know it because I’ve seen it. Good Democrats can come together with good Republicans to solve big problems. What we need is leadership to make that happen.”

The Obama campaign released a statement in response to Romney’s speech, saying that “True to form, Mitt Romney’s most recent ‘major policy speech’ included dishonest attacks and empty promises of change, but no new policy.”

“Romney has started promising ‘big change,’ but the only change Romney’s offering is to take us back to the same failed policies that crashed our economy in the first place,” wrote Lis Smith. “That’s not the change we need, and with every ‘major speech,’ Mitt Romney just reminds voters that’s all he’s got to offer.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct222012

Ryan Tells Iowa Obama Offers ‘Blame and Frustration’

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(SIOUX CITY, Iowa) -- Paul Ryan hit the president on Sunday at a short rally in Sioux City, Iowa, accusing him of becoming the “very kind of candidate he was then criticizing” four years ago.

“You see, the man we heard four years ago offering hope and change is the very kind of candidate he was then criticizing,” Ryan said on the deck of the restaurant Bev’s on the River.  “He has become what he criticized.  He’s not offering hope and change, he’s offering attack and blame and frustration.”

The Republican vice presidential candidate spoke to over 700 people, greeting patrons inside the restaurant before coming outside and praising the crowd for coming together during the floods last year.

He said the community “showed the rest of us in America, this is what Americans do when they come together to help one another.”  He noted that Iowans have a “big responsibility” on Nov. 6.

Iowa is one of a handful of swing states that could be crucial in determining which candidate wins the electoral college vote.  An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll last week gave President Obama a 51-43 lead in Iowa.

“This is the heart and soul of America, and you know what?” Ryan asked the crowd.  “Right here in the Midwest, right here in Iowa, you have a big responsibility, you have a big obligation, you have a big opportunity because Iowans could be the ones who decide the direction of this country.”

The Wisconsin congressman did not mention the shooting in Brookfield, Wis., on Sunday that left three women dead, but he issued a statement shortly after the shooting, writing that he and his wife Janna “were shocked and saddened by the news from Brookfield today.”

The shooting occurred about 25 miles from where seven people were killed at a Sikh Temple by a white supremacist in August.

“As our community continues to heal from August’s tragic violence, our thoughts and prayers are with today’s victims and their loved ones,” Ryan said in a statement.

The Sikh Temple shooting took place in his congressional district.  Sunday’s shooting occurred in a neighboring district.

Ryan will be heading back to his home state around Halloween for a campaign tour that will also allow him to accompany his three young children trick or treating.  Polls in Wisconsin still show the president leading, but Ryan’s selection has put the state in contention.  No Republican has won Wisconsin in a presidential election since 1984.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct022012

Voting Begins in Iowa Battleground

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The polls open Tuesday in Ohio, the second battleground state to open up early in-person voting to residents.  Last week, Iowa became the first battleground state to begin early voting.

Ohio is one of 32 states (plus the District of Columbia) that allows no-excuse early voting, meaning that any registered voter can head to the polls before election day and cast their ballot.

The Secretary of State's office reports that more than 920,000 absentee ballot applications have been received statewide already by county boards of elections in the Buckeye state.  Ohio currently boasts 7.8 million registered voters -- those voters have 35 days to get to a voting location or mail in their ballot.

Early voting has become an increasing popular form of voting in recent years.  Over the past several years, the number of voters voting early or by absentee has increased by 50 percent each cycle.  This year, the number is expected to continue to increase.

Last week, Iowa became the first battleground state to open up the polls for early voters.  Voters across the state gathered as early as 6:45 a.m. to walk over to their voting locations together.  For the most part, early voters in the state will not cast their ballot at a polling site, but will go to their county courthouses.

While the number of voters who turned out Tuesday morning to be the first to cast their ballots in the Hawkeye state is not yet available, over 185,000 absentee ballots have been requested, and just over 3,500 have been returned, according to the Iowa Secretary of State's office.

So far, those ballots tilt heavily towards the Democrats.  About 119,000 of the 185,000 requested are from registered Democrats, while a little more than 24,000 are from registered Republicans.  The remaining ballots come from voters registered as "no party" or "other."  Republicans do boast an advantage in terms of total registered voters in the state, however, with about 620,000 to 602,000, according to figures from the secretary of state's office.

While both parties in the state have made a push to encourage voters to vote by mail, Democrats and Republicans take a different strategy in the types of voters they're targeting.  Democrats are mostly talking to their base voters when it comes to mobilizing people to vote by mail or come out to the polls and cast their vote early.  Those are supporters who are definitely going to vote, it's just a question of when, a Democratic source in Iowa told ABC News.

Republicans are focusing more on voters that they deem less likely to vote on election day, a GOP source said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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