With about five months to go before the Iowa Caucuses, the perceived front-runner in the democratic race for president is busy trying to close the sale. Democrat Congressman Richard Gephardt of Missouri won the 1988 Iowa Caucuses, and most polls show him holding or sharing a lead here in Iowa this time around. He says he’s never assumed anything, he just keeps campaigning to earn enough votes to win.Gephardt spent this weekend in western and southern Iowa, stopping in 10 cities. On Sunday, Gephardt started in Creston, where about 50 people crowded around to chat with the candidate. Julie and Alan Weisshaar were undecided but leaning Gephardt’s way at about 9 a.m. Sunday, but an hour later, they were in Gephardt’s camp. Charlie Jackson of Creston was undecided before the meeting, but by the end of the hour, Gephardt had won his vote. He says Gephardt was powerful in his presentation and stirred up his blue collar values. Bob and Dorothy Rectenbaugh of Creston are still undecided and looking for a candidate who’ll fulfill one aim — to get Bush out of the White House.Jerry Olson of Thayer, an Independent, asked Gephardt specifically how he would “bring the troops home” and conduct U.S. foreign policy differently than Bush. Olson says he was “impressed” with Gephardt, but not ready to make a decision. Lori Hayes of Creston hosted the meeting, and supports Gephardt because she believes Democrats must run an experienced candidate against Bush.On Saturday, Gephardt was in Carroll, Denison, Council Bluffs, Red Oak and Clarinda. On Sunday, he was in Creston, Chariton, Centerville, Bloomfield and Mount Pleasant.
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