News / USA

Romney, Paul Lead Republican Presidential Hopefuls in Iowa Race

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (file photo)
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (file photo)

Republican presidential contenders are frantically reaching out to voters in Iowa ahead of the state's presidential caucuses. Candidates trailing behind in opinion polls Friday, such as Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former congressman Newt Gingrich, were working to erode the lead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Romney's bid received a boost Friday from the popular governor of the state of New Jersey, who was in Iowa to campaign with the candidate.

While Romney is seen as the overall front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination for the presidency, rival Ron Paul has risen in the polls just days before the Iowa caucuses, the country's first nominating contest for the 2012 presidential election.

The U.S. presidential election campaign kicks off in the Midwestern state of Iowa on January 3, with seven Republican candidates trying to win enough voter support to represent their party in the November 6, 2012, presidential election. U.S. President Barack Obama has no challenger for the Democratic Party nomination, but still must go through the caucus and primary processes.

The Iowa caucuses are the first test on the electoral calendar. Some candidates suffer large enough defeats that they drop out of the race.  Many political analysts view the state as a cross section of the United States in terms of ideology and party preference.  However, a win in Iowa does not guarantee a candidate will receive his or her party’s nomination.

Iowa Quick Facts compared with the U.S. total:


- Population (2010): 3 million; U.S.: 308.5 million

- Residents under 18 years old (2010): 24 percent; U.S.: 24 percent

- Residents 65 years and over (2010): 15 percent; U.S.: 13 percent

- White residents (2010): 91 percent; U.S.: 72.5 percent

- Black residents  (2010): 3 percent; U.S.: 13 percent

- Asian residents  (2010): 2 percent; U.S. 5 percent

- Residents of Hispanic or Latino origin (2010): 5 percent; U.S.: 16 percent

- Residents of two or more races (2010) 2 percent; U.S.: 3 percent

- Foreign-born residents (2005-2009): 4 percent; U.S.: 12.5 percent

- Per capita income in past 12 months (2009): $25,000; U.S.: $27,000

- Residents below poverty level (2009): 12 percent; U.S.: 14 percent

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

An NBC/Marist survey shows Romney with 23 percent of the support among likely participants in the January 3 caucuses.  But Paul, a congressman from Texas, was just behind with 21 percent.

Romney held a morning event where he criticized U.S. President Barack Obama and promised change in Washington and a new direction for the economy and the country.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who at one time had been considered a possible candidate, appeared at the rally to support Romney.

“What a guy, that guy is. Isn’t he amazing? Gosh, we’re so lucky to have him in our party and leading a great state like New Jersey, fighting the battles to take back America," said Romney.

Former senator Rick Santorum, who has seen a recent jump in the polls, says he remains confident the caucuses, regarded as an important indicator of nationwide prospects, will turn in his favor.

The NBC/Marist poll puts him in third, with 15 percent support.

While the winner of the Iowa caucus may not go on to win a party nomination, or the presidency, a poor showing in the state may force some candidates to drop out of the race.

Former House speaker Gingrich, the latest one-time favorite to fade away, has seen his support tumble in Iowa, although he continues to campaign hard.  

He teared up at an event when talking about his late mother, remembering her as a happy person who loved life, but who also suffered late in her life from bipolar disease and depression.

The only woman in the field of candidates, Michele Bachmann, a U.S. representative from Minnesota, greeted supporters at an eatery in the town of Early.  Bachmann, who has seen single-digit support in Iowa, pledged tax reform and a repeal of President Obama's health care reform.  She predicted she would do well in the caucuses.

"And something else that I’ve highlighted in the course of this presidential race is my commitment, both as a federal tax attorney and as someone who’s created and runs a successful business is the abolition of the tax code," said Bachmann. "This is leadership that I intend to bring to this issue in abolishing the tax code."

Jon Huntsman, who was President Obama's ambassador to China, is focusing his campaign on New Hampshire, the second state scheduled to vote on a nominee.  That northeastern state holds its primary on January 10.

In the latest survey in that state, Romney holds a strong lead, supported by 44 percent of likely primary voters, followed again by Paul.

Where is Iowa located in the United States?

Iowa map

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf 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.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs