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

    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.


    Kane Farabaugh

    Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora