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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid