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

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs