News / USA

Iowans Prepare for First Presidential Selection Event

U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul leaves a campaign stop in West Des Moines, Iowa
U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul leaves a campaign stop in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kane Farabaugh

As Republican presidential candidates make a final push to woo undecided voters, organizers are making final preparations for Iowa’s caucus voting. Republicans say they expect record turnout as Iowa becomes the first state in the nation to pick a favored candidate for president.

At Republican Party headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa a caucus volunteer, Jim Arneson, is working the phones in a last-minute effort to get more volunteers in place at voting locations across the city.

“A lot of people are not willing to come early, and sit down, and really work hard,” he said.

But not Arneson. He is working hard to get people motivated to help manage the record turnout Republicans are expecting at caucus locations across the state.

“A lot of people are thinking they are going to come out of the woodwork," said Arneson. "I just don’t know yet what to expect.”

“I’ve predicted all year long if the weather was good it would jump up to as high as 140,” added Darrell Kearney, Polk county Republican Party finance officer.

That’s 140,000, which local Republican Darrell Kearney says would be 15,000 more voters than the previous caucus.

But with the increased number of voters comes increased uncertainty. Kearney says the number of undecided voters is also at an all time high.

“Four years ago it was about 30 percent," said Kearney. "This year it's 41 percent, which is huge. Which tells us people are going to come into the caucuses, and they aren’t going to make up their mind until they get there.”

"This is almost like a real rally," said Ron Paul. "This is great!"

Once such undecided voter is Robert Goebel.

“This is actually our first Iowa caucus," said Dr. Robert Goebel, voter. "We moved here just under four years ago and we’ve been looking forward to it.”

Goebel says he did not have access to candidates like Ron Paul when he lived in California. 

“And during political campaigns the candidates were virtually inaccessible," continued Goebel. "My wife and I feel that it’s refreshing and really fascinating how you can actually meet the candidates in person.”

Iowans Prepare for First Presidential Selection Event
Iowans Prepare for First Presidential Selection Event

But meeting those candidates in person hasn’t helped him decide who to support on Tuesday.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Debbie Chambers, who is also having a hard time making up her mind.

Chambers was looking to get a better sense about where Congressman Paul stood on the biggest issue to her: health insurance.

“Where it’s going to go and how it’s going to affect the Americans that do not have health care,” elaborated Chambers.

All the candidates face similar questions on the campaign trail as their efforts in Iowa wind-down.

Kearney has met every Republican candidate for president since 1976. He considers this year’s Republican race for the nomination one of the most volatile.

“I have never seen it this volatile before, coming into the closing days," said Kearney. "This is very, very unusual. So at this point I don’t think we can make any predictions about who's gonna win.”

Nor can he make predictions about the weather, and how willing voters will be to brave the cold.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs