The contentious primaries and state convention are behind us and now is the time for Iowa Republicans to band together. At least, that is the hope. The November general elections are the focus and Iowa will continue to be a hotbed of political activity this year. GOP campaigns are already running in top gear preparing for the big day.
“We’re all here working together for a common cause, working to get Republicans elected on all levels,” said Tom Szold, the communications director for the Iowa Victory operation. “Today is largely about finding volunteers who will help us with the ground game. We intend to have the largest ground game in Iowa history on our side.”
We not only live in a crucial swing state for the presidential election, Iowa will also feature two of the most hotly contested congressional races in the nation. Additionslly, the battle for the state senate is a major focus. Republicans need to pick up just two seats to capture the majority and put an end to the Democrats’ continual blocking of key legislation.
There were signs of Republican unity in Urbandale on Saturday at the grand opening of the GOP Central Iowa Victory office. Along with serving as primary headquarters for helping Republicans up and down the ballot get elected, the space also serves as the primary headquarters for Tom Latham’s congressional campaign and Mitt Romney’s Iowa presidential campaign.
“The difference is going to be the turnout, your effort, your work here is going to make the difference,” Latham told the crowd of over 100 GOP activists. “And that’s what this election is all about because our country is in jeopardy. We all feel it in our hearts and souls that if we don’t change what’s going on, especially in the presidency and certainly in the Congress supporting a new president, our country is in jeopardy. We don’t have another four years.”
While some came for the free food and a chance to mingle with Congressman Latham and other top Iowa Republicans, many attendees got busy with the task of helping Republicans get elected. Volunteers filled the phone bank, while others hit the streets to go door knocking on behalf of Republican candidates.
“We need to make sure that we’re banking these phones and we’re sending people everywhere from the courthouse to the White House this year,” Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said to the crowd. “And we need to make sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president. Mitt Romney is committed to Iowa and to making sure that he spends a lot of time in Iowa and I know that he’ll prevail this fall.”
The Iowa Victory operation is confident of huge Republican gains in November, thanks primarily to President Obama’s failed policies.
“Something we’ve seen over the last few weeks especially is there ‘s a serious enthusiasm gap,” Tom Szold said “At the Republican convention last weekend there was 70 percent turnout. At the Democrat convention there was 50 percent turnout. This is the first time in six years there are more Republican voters here in Iowa than Democrats and it just shows that enthusiasm is on our side. After three and a half years of President Obama, there’s a reason why those numbers are down.”
The Victory office, located in a strip mall off 86th Street in Urbandale, will be open seven days a week. Volunteers are welcome to drop by any time. The office should be familiar to Republican activists. It served as the 2008 Victory headquarters and was also Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign headquarters last year.
Photo by Becky Ervin
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