Normal turnout for a primary election in Iowa is between 10 and 15 percent, and the Republican candidates for Governor are hoping for the higher end tomorrow on primary day. Steve Sukup, an ag-businessman from Dougherty, is buoyed by recent television station polls which showed him gaining on perceived front-runner, Doug Gross. He says the momentum is switching to his side as the margin between him and Gross is tightening.Sukup says interest in the race among republicans has increased in the past month. He says the last special legislative session showed the governor sitting on the sideline with no game plan.Doug Gross, a lawyer from Des Moines, says activity has picked up in the closing weeks of the contest. He says there’s been a marked change in attitudes from whether or not republicans can beat Vilsack, to they need to beat Vilsack.Gross is worried about television ads democrat Governor Vilsack has purchased which criticize Gross’ work as a lobbyist. He says Vilsack is attempting to hijack the republican nomination in “an unprecedented sneak attack” intended to deny Gross the nomination.The third candidate in the race, Bob Vander Plaats of Sioux City, says republican voters are motivated to pick a candidate that can win in November.Vander Plaats is spending today in western Iowa doing phone calls to get out the vote.Former Governor Robert Ray predicts turnout among republicans will be driven by key races. Ray says the congressional contest in western Iowa will make a difference, as will the republican senate race and the race for governor.Former Governor Terry Branstad predicts over 150-thousand republicans will turnout tomorrow. The Branstad/Fred Grandy primary in 1994 holds the record for highest republican primary turnout, as over 315-thousand voters went to the polls.
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