News / USA

Republican Presidential Candidates Push for Votes Ahead of Poll

A crowd walks along part of the fair grounds at the Iowa State Fair, in the state capital Des Moines, August 12, 2011
A crowd walks along part of the fair grounds at the Iowa State Fair, in the state capital Des Moines, August 12, 2011
Kane Farabaugh

The Iowa State Fair is an annual August tradition in the central U.S. state. It is a chance to showcase Iowa’s agricultural products and traditions in a distinctly American atmosphere. It is also the closest many voters can get to candidates on the campaign trail. Reaching out to voters at the state fair is a rite of passage for candidates hoping to do well in the Iowa Straw Poll.

Since the first Iowa Straw Poll - held in Ames in 1979 - the Iowa State Fair in the capitol Des Moines, with it’s carnival rides and wide variety of fried food booths, has been a critical campaign stop for candidates hoping to emerge as the frontrunner.

“It’s probably easier to have access to candidates here in Des Moines Iowa than it is in New York City or Washington D.C.  It’s an amazing place,” said Des Moines native Marc Daniels. He has watched his relatively small Midwestern state evolve into a major political testing ground that can now make or break a Presidential candidate’s national campaign.

”Candidates get an opportunity to fine tune their message, and to sharpen it. They get an opportunity to find out whether what they are talking about is what people want to hear. It gives them an opportunity to practice their rhetoric for later speeches,” said Daniels.

Practicing for those speeches at the fair takes place on a “soapbox,” in this case large bails of hay, surrounded by crowds of interested voters.

Often well attended by supporters of the candidate speaking, it is open to everyone. As former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney discovered, that includes detractors.

“What are you going to do to strengthen Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, without cutting benefits?" asked one spectator.

“All right, let’s get his answer, let’s get his answer. You’ve had your chance, anything else you want to say?” replied Romney.

“I want to see what your gonna say,” said the man.

“The way this is going to work is you got to give your question, and now I’m going to give my answer. And if you don’t like my answer, you can vote for someone else. But now it’s my turn to give my answer. You ready for my answer? I’m not going to raise taxes! That’s my answer! I’m not going to raise taxes!” said Romney.

The Iowa State Fair has a family atmosphere, and many candidates attend with their loved ones in tow.

Linda Paul is hundreds of miles away from her home state of Texas. Even though it’s her first trip to the fair, she said it is somewhat familiar.

“This is my first time in Iowa. A lot of corn was my first impression. The state fair honestly reminds me a little bit of home with our state fairs and everything,” she said.

Paul is at the fair to help her grandfather, Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, get the votes he needs to do well in the Straw Poll.

Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul speaks to a crowd at the Iowa State Fair, in the state capital Des Moines, August 12, 2011
Texas Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul speaks to a crowd at the Iowa State Fair, in the state capital Des Moines, August 12, 2011

“It’s very important for him to come out, talk to his supporters, talk to some that are undecided. Tell them his message. He won’t tell them something to win his vote. He’s going to tell them the truth and what he truly believes in,” she said.

That message resonates with Benjamin Adair, who came to show his support for Ron Paul. He said campaigns like Paul’s tend to get more traction in Iowa because of its size.

“If you’re a smaller candidate that doesn’t have as much money, I think Iowa is a good place. It’s cheaper to buy ads, easier to travel across and talk to people,” said Adair.

Adair said regardless of who wins the Straw Poll on August 13, he believes Ron Paul’s campaign will benefit from the time he has invested campaigning here.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More