Mitt Romney’s critique of how President Obama is handling the economy was correct, but his remarks would have had a greater impact had he challenged the President from Iowa instead of by telephone via the Des Moines Register.
Romney’s decision to weigh in on the President’s visit to Iowa shows one of the flaws in his strategy to downplay or ignore Iowa. Whether Mitt Romney is here or not, the Iowa Caucuses will still matter. This is evidenced by the immense amount of political news the state has produced in the last few days, none of it having anything to do with Romney or Jon Huntsman, the media-preferred candidates.
Romney’s decision to bypass Iowa doesn’t just mean that he is choosing to forgoe the First-in-the-Nation Caucuses, but it also means that he will not receive the media attention that comes with participating in Iowa. His strategy only works if he remains the frontrunner. Even if he is able to do that, he is still allowing a candidate to emerge from Iowa that could have enough momentum to topple him in contests after New Hampshire.
While Romney avoids Iowa, the man he hopes to face in the general election has an affinity for Iowans since they are the ones who gave him a huge victory in the 2008 Democrat caucuses. Even as President, Obama has been a frequent visitor to the state that launched his presidential campaign. While Romney doesn’t feel like he needs Iowa to win the Republican nomination, he may need its six electoral votes in a close general election race.
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