News / USA

US Presidential Candidates Struggle Ahead of Iowa Caucus

The United States elects its president in just a little more than 11 months.  But before the general election, the Republican party must first select a nominee, who will run against current President Barack Obama.  The now-ongoing Republican race has some interesting twists, it includes a candidate who failed to get on the ballot in the state where he lives and a libertarian who is under fire for allegedly writing discriminatory remarks.

Republican candidates are all smiles when they come to the Midwest.  The Iowa caucuses, their first presidential test, is Tuesday, January 3.  

The Iowa Republican party lists nine caucus candidates, but political analyst Matthew Dowd narrows it to three. "I think this race right now, unless somebody changes the dynamic in Iowa, is a race between Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, all of whom have tremendous [drawbacks in their background], and all of whom a majority of Republicans have worries about," he said.

Gingrich has worries of his own, he did not submit the required number of qualified signatures to get on the primary ballot in  Virginia.  That's the state where he lives.  Virginia, the nation's 12th largest state, is seen as an important "swing state" where neither party dominates, making it crucial in the general election in November.

Democratic political analyst James Carville said, "He's not on the ballot in Virginia, which in a close race, could actually mean something.  Secondly, it's probably indicative of something else that they weren't prepared for this, they weren't able to do this."  

But the Gingrich campaign has been quick to focus on Congressman Ron Paul's recent issues.  Paul published newsletters in the 1980s and 90s that contained racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay material.  "These things are really nasty," said Gingrich. "And he didn't know about it?  Wasn't aware about it and he's sufficiently ready to be president?"

Paul disavows the newsletters, saying he did not write them. But a YouTube video from 1995 shows a different stance. "It's called the Ron Paul survival report and I put that out on a monthly basis," he said in the video.

Still, Congressman Paul has passionate supporters who like his no-frills authenticity.  Important in Iowa where slightly more than 100,000 people will vote.

The third top-tier candidate is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who has campaigned less in Iowa than some others. "The experience of balancing budgets is desperately needed in Washington and I will take it there," he said.

Romney touts his economic expertise in this new TV ad.  But some staunch Republicans complain he's not conservative enough on other issues.  

The good news for all three candidates is that Iowans have not chosen a clear favorite yet.  The bad news is they have less than a week to become that favorite.


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid