Mitt Romney does not need to win Iowa. There is a path to the GOP nomination without a path victory in the first-in-the-nation vote. However, there is a very realistic possibility of Romney claiming the Iowa Caucus prize that eluded him four years ago.
“I’m going to tell you very confidently that Governor Romney is going to do very, very well and exceed expectations on Tuesday night,” said state representative Mary Ann Hanusa, who endorsed Romney three weeks ago and introduced him at a campaign stop in Council Bluffs Sunday evening.
Judging from the large number of people that turned out in Council Bluffs, Hanusa’s prediction could be on target. The crowd at the Bayliss Park Hall was so large that half the attendees were forced to remain downstairs. The line snaked outside the Victorian-style mansion. Romney briefly addressed that group from the building’s circular staircase. Then he was greeted by another 250 likely caucus goers upstairs. It was the type of reception every candidate craves.
Despite rarely campaigning here, Romney’s base of Iowa support remains intact. His poll numbers have remained steady throughout and he consistently draws large crowds to his campaign events. The former Massachusetts governor also has a solid team on the ground that has largely gone unnoticed. Romney’s field crew consistently outworks most of the other campaigns.
Jean Blue, a high school teacher from Council Bluffs, caucused for Romney four years ago. She plans to vote for him again on Tuesday. “I believe he’s honest and he’s a businessman, not a politician,” Blue said. “I think we need somebody who knows how to run government more like a business.”
As is often the case, Romney’s speech sounded like he was already the GOP nominee. His criticisms were reserved for President Obama. “We have to have somebody as president who is a leader. Not just somebody who can attack and attack and attack the other side,” Romney said. “We have to have somebody who can work with the other side. Democrats love America. Independents love America too.”
Electability and someone with a business background are what drive Romney’s supporters. The former Massachusetts governor bet everything on Iowa four years ago and it cost him. This time, he has played hard to get with Iowans. And while many caucus goers have flirted with other candidates, in the end they might decide Mitt Romney is the one they want to take the dance.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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