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

    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.


    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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.