Al Gore won Iowa in November of 2000 by a slim margin and both political parties believe Iowa will be up for grabs in 2004. Marc Racicot, chairman of President Bush’s re-election campaign, says Iowa is one of the “swing” states they’ll target. Racicot says Bush had a “narrow disappointment” when he lost Iowa in 2000 by about 4,000 votes. Racicot says being successful in Iowa in 2004 is “absolutely essential” in order to win enough votes in the Electoral College to keep the White House in Republican hands for another four years. The Bush/Cheney campaign has recruited a handfull of Iowans to advise it on ag issues. Racicot, who used to be Governor of Montana before going to Washington to work with Bush, says agriculture is strategically and economically important, and “sets the tone” and “tempermant of the nation.” Glen Keppy, a farmer from Davenport, says getting a bigger slice of rural votes for Bush could provide the margin of victory. Keppy says 60 percent of the rural vote went to Bush last time around. Former American Farm Bureau president Dean Kleckner, who farms near Rudd, Iowa, is advising Bush on ag issues, too.
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