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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid