Congressional candidate Ben Lange summed up the situation perfectly. As the presidential race tightens in the final days of the campaign, it is becoming increasingly clear that Iowa’s six electoral votes could play a huge role in the outcome. Perhaps even the deciding factor. The direction of our country might rest in the hands of Iowans, particularly those who live east of Interstate 35.
“Eastern Iowa is going to decide this race,” Lange said at a large GOP rally in Cedar Falls on Friday. “There was an article in the New York Times that says ‘As goes Iowa, so goes the nation’. But more specific than that, as goes eastern Iowa, so goes the nation.”
Lange is correct. Most of Iowa’s population lives in the eastern half of the state. The area is more liberal than the western half of Iowa. However, it remains a gold mine for Republican candidates. The Romney/Ryan ticket does not have to win the eastern half of the state to win Iowa. However, they need to perform well enough there that the more conservative western half can push them over the top on Election Day.
If Friday’s crowd in Cedar Falls is any indication, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are going to do very well in eastern Iowa on Election Day. A raucous, standing room only crowd packed the University of Northern Iowa’s West Gym for Ryan’s visit. Around half of those attendees were UNI students.
The crowd’s excitement boiled over. They were treated to a performance by John Ondrasik, the lead singer of popular rock band Five for Fighting. They also heard from several of Iowa’s most prominent GOP officials and candidates. However, the eastern Iowans saved their greatest enthusiasm for the headliner.
“The consequences just could not be greater. So I’ve just got a question. Iowa, you going to help us win this thing,” Paul Ryan asked, receiving loud cheers and applause in response.
On a day when it was announced the unemployment rate went up to 7.9%, the vice-presidential hopeful touted Mitt Romney’s leadership skills, while slamming President Obama’s policies.
“Let’s never forget that the reason the Obama economic agenda failed is not because it was stopped. It’s because it was passed,” Ryan said. “Borrowing and spending and all these special interest cronies, it didn’t work.”
Before Congressman Ryan took the stage, Governor Branstad, Senator Grassley, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, congressional candidate Ben Lange and state senate candidate Matt Reisetter all talked about the importance Iowans will play in the outcome of the presidential race. Ryan capped it off by asking the attendees to do all they could in the final four days to insure a Republican victory.
“We’re asking for your help. We’re asking for your support,” Ryan said. “We’re asking you to talk to those who thought Hope and Change sounded good in 2008, who now know better. The whole thing is up for grabs…We cannot afford as a nation to wait four more years for real change. Let’s make sure we only wait four more days for real change.”
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