Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will be in Iowa tonight for a rally in downtown Des Moines, his first visit here since Obama won the Iowa Caucuses January 3rd. Jackie Norris of the Obama campaign has been working on logistics. "The goal of this rally is to show Iowans that Senator Obama is committed to the… importance of the state Iowa as a battleground state and one that Democrats have to win in 2008," Norris says.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain began running advertising on Iowa TV stations following his visit to Des Moines on May 1st. Norris says Democrats have a "big job" ahead in Iowa to carry the state for Obama in the fall.
Some paid Obama staffers have been in Iowa throughout 2008, working to ensure Obama has as many Iowa delegates as possible at the Democratic National Convention in August. "One of the things that’s so interesting about Iowa is it’s not over after January 3rd when the Caucuses take place because we actually stay here and go through the process of electing national delegates so we have had a skeleton staff in place in Iowa. a couple of people who have been responsible for turning out delegates and alternatesand making sure they attend their county and district and state conventions and toward that end our state convention is here in June," Norris says, "and so we’ve had some staff here focusing on that."
A few other Obama staffers have been working with the Iowa Democratic Party on grassroots, party-building activities. "We’ve got a great group of ambassadors that have been sent all around the country, that are in battleground states, that are reenergizing the Obama network, who are excited and want to help and plugging them into efforts to help all Democrats, for instance, with voter registration," Norris says.
Obama finished first in the Iowa Caucuses, followed by John Edwards who endorsed Obama last week. Hillary Clinton finished in third place in the Iowa Caucuses and she said on Monday that her race with Obama is "nowhere near over." Clinton again discounted Obama’s wins in Caucus states like Iowa, as she maintains turnout is much lower for caucuses compared to primaries.