The Big Story Blog

Iowa: Down to the wire

Posted at 7:50 AM on January 3, 2012 by Michael Olson
Filed under: Iowa, Politics

Here's a look at the latest news and analysis from Iowa:
Romney: 'We're going to win this thing'

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NBC News: "Speaking before a crowd of at least 500 supporters here in a suburb of Cedar Rapids, Mitt Romney unleashed a torrent of cheers at the end of his rally when he appeared for the first time to predict a flat-out victory in tomorrow's Iowa caucuses."

Forget winning Iowa: It's better to 'exceed expectations'
National Journal: "If it's the Iowa caucuses, it must be time for those magical political words: 'better than expected.' In the 36 years since Iowa has mattered in the presidential nomination process, doing better than expected has almost always meant much more than actually winning the first-in-the-nation caucus."

Throng of reporters follows Michele Bachmann on West Des Moines stroll
Des Moines Register: "The Republican presidential candidate met potential supporters at Paula's Restaurant amidst a literal crush of reporters and TV cameras, posing for snapshots and imploring voters to turn out for her at tonight's caucuses, the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating process."

Jon Avlon demystifies the caucuses for CNN:

The Iowa caucuses are low-turnout, high-intensity elections. There are 2.1 million registered voters in Iowa. But the total turnout for the GOP caucus in 2008 was just 118,696 people, despite the months of media hype.

Mike Huckabee won the caucuses that year with nearly 41,000 votes, beating Mitt Romney by more than 10,000 votes while being outspent considerably. That 10,000-vote margin represented less than half of 1% of the entire state's electorate.

Overall, the state of Iowa is representative of heartland America -- 37% registered independent, 32% Democrat and 30% Republican. But caucus-goers do not represent that political spread. Instead, 88% of GOP caucus voters in 2008 identified themselves as "conservative," and only 11% described their views as moderate. Nearly two-thirds were evangelical.

As a result, center-right Republican candidates who might have the best chance of winning Iowa in a general election have a hard time making inroads in the conservative caucuses.

Protests at Romney event, hotel lead to 15 arrests
Des Moines Register: "Fifteen protesters affiliated with Occupy the Caucus were arrested Monday, 12 at the Renaissance Savery hotel in downtown Des Moines and three before a Mitt Romney campaign event in Clive.

Here's a look at other 2012 news.

Politico: Where are the candidates?
7:15 AM
Michele Bachmann
Appearing on FOX News' 'Fox & Friends'

7:45 AM
Michele Bachmann
Appearing on CNN's "Starting Point"

8:45 AM
Mitt Romney
Holding grassroots rally
Des Moines, Iowa

9:00 AM
Newt Gingrich
Meeting with voters at Elly's Tea
Elly's Tea, 208 W 2nd St. #A., Muscatine, Iowa

9:10 AM
Rick Perry
Hosting Iowa caucus training
West Des Moines Sheraton, 1800 50th St., West Des Moines, Iowa

9:30 AM
Michele Bachmann
Appearing on C-SPAN

9:45 AM
Michele Bachmann
Speaking at 'Rock the Caucus' Student Assembly
Valley High School, Gymnasium, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines, Iowa

10:00 AM
Jon Huntsman
Speaking at Strong Foundations Charter School
Strong Foundations Charter School, 715 Riverwood Drive, Pembroke, N.H.

10:00 AM
Michele Bachmann
Appearing on ABC Family's "700 Club"

10:10 AM
Michele Bachmann
Holding media availability at Valley High School
Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines, Iowa

10:45 AM
Ron Paul
Speaking at 'Rock the Caucus' Student Assembly
Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines, Iowa
2012-01-03 at 10:45
11:30 AM

Newt Gingrich
Meeting with voters at The Drake Restaurant
The Drake Restaurant, 106 Washington St., Burlington, Iowa

12:45 PM
Jon Huntsman
Hosting town hall meeting
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, N.H.

1:00 PM
Rick Perry
Meeting with employees
Principal Financial Group, Auditorium, 711 High St., Des Moines, Iowa

2:30 PM
Rick Perry
Meeting with employees of Nationwide
Nationwide, Main Cafeteria, 1100 Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa
2012-01-03 at 2:30

3:30 PM
Jon Huntsman
Hosting town hall meeting
Tidland Corporation, 11 Bradco St., Keene, N.H.

5:30 PM
Michele Bachmann
Giving remarks
Black Hawk County Caucus Super-Site, UNI-Dome, 2401 Hudson Road, Cedar Falls, Iowa

6:00 PM
Jon Huntsman
Holding public event with Gov. Tom Ridge
Peterborough Town Hall, 1 Grove St., Peterborough, N.H.

7:00 PM
Ron Paul
Holding caucus night rally with supporters
Courtyard Des Moines Ankeny, 2405 SE Creekview Drive, Ankeny, Iowa

7:00 PM
Rick Santorum
Holding caucus night rally at Stoney Creek Inn
Stoney Creek Inn, The North Woods Conference Center, 5291 Stoney Creek Court, Johnston, Iowa

7:00 PM
Newt Gingrich
Hosting caucus night event at Veterans Auditorium
833 5th Ave., Des Moines, Iowa

7:00 PM
Rick Perry
Hosting caucus night watch party
Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel, 1800 50th st., West Des Moines, Iowa

8:00 PM
Michele Bachmann
Holding caucus night event
West Des Moines Marriott, Grand Ballroom 1250 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa

8:45 PM
Mitt Romney
Hosting a caucus night event with supporters
Hotel Fort Des Moines, 1000 Walnut St., Des Moines, Iowa


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.