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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    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 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 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.