The number of presidential candidate visits to Iowa will rise as the temperatures do this summer, as nine Democrats vy for Iowans’ support in the kick-off event of the 2004 campaign, the Iowa Caucuses. North Carolina Senator John Edwards, who is campaigning in Sioux City this morning, has some ground to make up. Edwards says he’s going to spend a lot of time in Iowa in July and August — and will be here for a full week, with his kids and family. Polls in Iowa show Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean in a dead heat at the top of the pack. Dean has already spent 55 days campaigning in Iowa; Kerry is due later this week and Gephardt spent most of last week here. Democrats have begun focusing on Bush’s handling of the economy, and contrasting it with the robust economy the President inherited from Democrat Bill Clinton. Gephardt says the economy is “in a mess” and has fallen so far from the ’90s, a period he called the best economy in 50 years. Gephardt says things were moving in the right direction until Bush took over. He accuses Bush of having “mindless” economic policies. Edwards is touting his own tax cut ideas, like a tax credit that’d match — up to a thousand dollars — the money working class Americans sock away in a savings account. Edwards says President Bush’s tax cuts put money in the pockets of wealthy Americans who’re already saving and investing, and Edwards says that won’t do much to stimulate the economy.
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