Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Iowa 20 Days Out

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The election is less than three weeks away, and Iowa remains as gridlocked as ever. At this point in the game most voters are already locked in, having chosen their candidate. However, there is plenty of excitement left as the candidates fight for what little ground remains in the corn fields. Let’s take a glance at Iowa as of now.

Obama has been focusing on the youth demographic over the last few days in Iowa, hosting “campus takeover” events all over the state. This is probably his best shot at sealing the six Iowa votes. At this point in the race, the game is less about recruiting players and more about making sure they’re out on the field ready to race to the polls on election day.

Capitalizing on a slim victory in the last debate, Obama is hoping to get the youth excited for him again, since they were a major force for him in 2008, but have become more disillusioned in the past few years.

The democrats are also beginning to lose their edge on number of absentee ballots, according to the Des Moines Register. However, the democrats will likely have more absentee voters overall.

This doesn’t mean much to Romney’s camp, because they are counting on most of their votes coming in on election day itself, when the vast majority of Iowa republican are slated to vote

The most recent polls at Real Clear Politics show Obama maintaining a small but steady lead over Romney as we near the final days of the election. Again, at this point the game is more about making sure your base is ready to vote (if they haven’t already).

One demographic critical to an Iowa victory is the farming block. Iowa is in the midst of a poor farming season. The farmers usually depend on a farm bill that subsidizes the industry. Unfortunately this year, Congress has been a disappointment to Iowa’s farmers.

Obama blamed Paul Ryan for blocking the Iowa farm bill back in August. However, the failure of Congress also reflects poorly on the president himself. Additionally, Romney’s stance on lowering regulation overall is appealing to many farmers in Iowa.

A group with whom Romney is still less popular that Obama is that of women. According to the Des Moines Register, which details in depth the feelings of Iowa women on this election, Romney only leads with women in terms of handling the economy. In all others he falls behind the president, whom most women find more likable and more favorable on social issues.

Finally, the congressional race is in full swing as well. This race will be explored in greater detail in the next post. However, as of now it looks like the democrats will win at least two of the four seats. Republicans should win one, while the last is a toss-up.

My Iowa Prediction: Obama by a hair. Had Romney won the last debate, I think that might have given him enough momentum to take the upset. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a close match and I would be entirely not surprised to see Iowa go red this election. As of right now though, Iowa belongs to Obama, if only just barely.

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