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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid