The three leading Democratic candidates for governor are making their final appeals for votes heading into Tuesday’s primary election. The trio spent the weekend busily criss-crossing the state, trying to pump up supporters and attract new converts.
Early Sunday afternoon, Chet Culver spoke to about 60 supporters gathered in a union hall near the Firestone plant in Des Moines. “I first of all want to thank you for your commitment, for your support, for your friendship, for your loyalty,” Culver said. “Number two, I need you — each and every one of you, literally, here — to do everything you can between now and nine o’clock on Tuesday.”
Meanwhile, rival Mike Blouin spent his Sunday at stops in eastern Iowa. “This is a very, very close election. It will be decided by a handful of votes in a handful of counties,” Blouin said. “Every vote matters more than anybody can imagine because it’s likely to be a low turnout.”
Blouin has an explanation for the low voter interest in the gubernatorial race. “People in a primary show up for courthouse races, the local legislative races and while they’re there they’ll vote for a governor or a congressional candidate,” Blouin said. “In those counties that have courthouse races, there’s a lot of interest. In those counties that don’t, there’s not much interest.”
Candidate Ed Fallon made stops in eastern Iowa, too. His last appearance Sunday night was at a picnic in Iowa City where he played his accordion. “I’m not pretentious. I’m not afraid to be who I am,” Fallon said. “I think people are finding that refreshing.”
Fallon’s final pitch to voters is the same pitch he’s been making for the past three years. “The only way to beat Jim Nussle is with a Tom Harkin-style campaign that focuses on issues,” Fallon said. “I’ve always stuck up for people who don’t have a voice in government. That includes a growing number of Iowans.”
A Des Moines Register Iowa Poll conducted in the past week found Culver holding a lead in the race. Thirty-six percent of those polled said they’d vote for Culver. Blouin got the backing of 28 percent. The margin of error was four percent which means the race between Culver and Blouin could be nearly dead even.
Fallon was favored by 21 percent. Fourteen percent of those polled said they still hadn’t decided which candidate they’d vote for.