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Obama's Iowa Trip - Hawkeye Hyperventilating

RNC Communications - August 13, 2012

MEMO

FROM: Rick Wiley, RNC Political Director

TO: Interested Parties

RE: Obama's Iowa Trip - Hawkeye Hyperventilating

Starting today, President Obama will jet off to Iowa to visit seven cities in three days. It looks likes someone's worried about his diminishing reelection prospects. And rightfully so.

Obama carried the Hawkeye State by nine points in 2008. Today, the Real Clear Politics Iowa polling average has him ahead by only one point--a statistical dead heat. The latest Rasmussen poll shows Gov. Romney leading by 2 points.

There's no good news for Obama in Iowa. As the Associated Press reported back in May, "The Iowa magic that launched Barack Obama to the presidency four years ago has all but faded."

Iowa voters are disappointed in the president. He has proven not be the leader he promised to be. Despite his feverish campaigning, he's becoming less popular.

His net job approval rating among all registered Iowa voters fell five points from May to July, according to Public Policy Polling. Among independents, his net approval fell a full 14 points. Meanwhile, Gov. Romney's standing has improved. He saw his net favorability rating improve four points among all voters and five points among independents.

Even Democrats are losing faith. As one longtime Democrat named Debbie Smith told the Des Moines Register last month, "I wish to have my vote back," after supporting Obama in 2008. Debbie's not alone. The Register reports this "deep-seated buyer's remorse" is not uncommon among "some of the once-euphoric Iowans who helped inspire the nation to embrace Barack Obama."

President Obama has undermined his own candidacy by breaking his promises to fix the economy, cut the deficit in half, create millions of jobs, and change the way Washington works. That disappointment and Republicans' superior ground game add up to a growing GOP advantage in Iowa.

In 2008, Democrats held a significant voter registration advantage. Registered Democrats outnumbered registered Republicans by 105,000. Four years later, Republicans are out-registering Democrats and now have a registration advantage of over 21,500. Since 2008, Democrats have lost voters in 95 of Iowa's 99 counties. The GOP has gained voters in 85. That is a dramatic shift and emblematic of how far Obama has fallen in Iowa and across the Midwest.

In the 2010 midterm elections, Iowans rejected the Obama agenda, electing Republican Terry Branstad to the governorship and sending a GOP majority to the state House. These victories left Republicans with an enthusiastic grassroots ready to claim victory again this November. In contrast, Democrats were left with the shell of a failed campaign and a dispirited base.

Two years later, Iowa is no less frustrated by Democrats' out-of-control deficit spending and attacks on free market principles. The president and his party have done nothing that significantly improves their standing in the eyes of Iowa voters.

A three day campaign swing will not undo the damage of three and a half years of disappointments and broken promises.

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