For almost two decades, Iowa has produced more corn than any other state in the country. But this year a severe drought has hit the state hard, and that’s having an impact on everything from animal feed to ethanol production. Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson talks about how the corn crop could affect how the swing state votes next month. We’ll also look at the candidates’ recent trips to the state, where early voting is already under way.
Election day is still more than a month away, but early voting has already begun. Voters in South Dakota and Idaho began casting their ballots on September 21, while voters in Iowa lined up outside polling stations late last week. In the upcoming weeks, dozens more states will open their voting booths.
President Barack Obama won Iowa in 2008 by nine percentage points, but his support here is softening as his approval rating and favor with independent voters has dipped.
The disappointed Iowa voters I met, though, aren't convinced that Mitt Romney is a viable alternative, particularly because of his wealth and his failure in their eyes to adequately address the struggling middle class.
Winning this state in 2012 will come down to which campaign can woo Iowa’s ticket-splitting rural voters and swing Catholic voters, while establishing a edge in the politically diversifying cities.
Chinese vice president Xi Jinping, the man expected to become China's top leader in the fall, is in Washington this week as part of a five-day trip to the U.S. The visit is expected to set the tone for bilateral relations over the next decade, particularly where economic ties are concerned. On Wednesday, he'll head to the city of Muscantine, Iowa, to reunite with a family he visited there in 1985 and to sign a trade agreement with soybean farmers there.
Newt Gingrich reminds voters of that time Mitt Romney sang "Who Let the Dogs Out?" and other campaign strategies from the Palmetto State.
Recap from It's a Free Country.
Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, Josh Rogers, political reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio, and Anna Sale, It's A Free Country political reporter, talked about Tuesday's New Hampshire primary and the last-minute challenges for Mitt Romney.
A tracking poll shows Romney sliding. Is this the Iowa roller coaster all over again?
What would an anthropologist make of the curious ritual of the Iowa caucuses? Part town meeting, part beer party, part coffee clatch with hot dishes, the Iowa caucuses may seem like an odd way to elect a politician to an outside observer. Every four years, the world media tries to decipher the curious liturgy of this bit of democracy in the heartland of America. The BBC's Paul Adams filed this report about looking at an American electoral tradition from a foreigner's perspective.
A sixth place showing should have been Waterloo for the girl from Waterloo. Instead, she vowed to head to South Carolina (Santorum, in a nice touch, made clear New Hampshire was next). After being burned by unlimited and anonymous negative campaign funding, Gingrich may just become the newest ally to overturn Citizens United.
While many focus on who the winner of the Iowa Caucus will be later this evening, the true question to be answered is whether certain candidates ranking near the bottom in the minds of voters will get the message that their best course of action is to drop out.
Following her sixth place finish in the Iowa Caucuses last night, in which she only got five percent of the vote, Michele Bachmann announced this morning that she's ending her campaign for president.
The Republican presidential hopefuls spent their New Year's weekend trying to differentiate themselves from each other and convince Iowans to caucus for them on Tuesday. Front-runner Mitt Romney tried to fend off a new challenge from Rick Santorum, who has surged in recent days to the top of the polls. Ron Paul, who spent his New Year at home in Texas, also stands to make a strong showing in Tuesday's caucuses. The Democratic Party has stepped up efforts in Iowa as well, targeting Romney for his record of laying off workers while CEO of private equity firm Bain Capital.
Iowa is not representative of the rest of the U.S. demographically, yet the state's caucuses every four years have overwhelming influence on the presidential nomination process. It is this idea that has some critics saying the caucus system itself is inherently flawed. The number of states holding caucuses — in addition to the amount of money spent and extremist positions espoused — have grown exponentially over the past few years, and are a far cry from their grassroots, populist origins.
With less than two weeks until the caucus, many voters are unenthusiastic about the Republican presidential hopefuls. Ron Paul, a libertarian Texas congressman, is in the lead, but many voters don't believe his unconventional politics will get him elected. Tea Party members and evangelical Christians don't feel they are properly represented in any of the candidates. No candidate has a solid core of voters, so aggressive campaigning will continue until January 3rd.
A woman has never been elected to Congress or held the governorship in Iowa. The only other state to hold this dubious distinction is Mississippi. Several studies point to cultural factors, such as the state's older population and evangelical lobbying groups. But nearly a century after women's suffrage and three years after Iowa legalized gay marriage, the Hawkeye State's problem seems to lie deeper.
The rise and fall of Michele Bachmann in Iowa has brought to light an uncomfortable truth about Iowa politics. The state, which holds the first caucus in the nation, has never elected a female to the U.S. Senate, Congress, or the governorship
In Iowa the final sprint for the 2012 Republican presidential candidates has begun, with the state's all-important January 3 caucuses drawing near. On Saturday, all of the major Republican contenders, minus former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, took center stage at Drake University for a Des Moines debate. Surging frontrunner Newt Gingrich found himself fending off attacks from all sides throughout the night, while Mitt Romney may have left the lasting impression by offering Rick Perry a $10,000 bet, mid-debate.