Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will campaign in Iowa this weekend, and one of Kerry’s top aides says it’s part of an effort to collect more votes in rural America this November. John Norris of Ames, Iowa, ran Kerry’s Iowa Caucus campaign and he’s now Kerry’s national field director. Norris says Kerry will talk to rural Americans more directly than any democratic presidential candidate has in years. The campaign has deployed campaign organizers in rural states and plans to send out another wave of organizers in a few weeks. As you may recall, President Bush did better in predominantly-rural states than Al Gore did in 2000. Norris says that’s something they hope to reverse in 2004. Norris says the campaign will have “an aggressive” voter registration effort that’s identified potential voters, precinct-by-precinct. Norris says Kerry will talk about issues of key interest in rural parts of the country. Kerry will arrive in Dubuque for the fireworks there on Saturday. He’ll spend Sunday in eastern Iowa, with stops in Independence, Cascade and Cedar Rapids.Norris says Kerry “looks like,” “talks like,” and “cares about” people who live in rural AmericaIowa Congressman Jim Nussle, a republican who spoke on behalf of the Bush/Cheney campaign this afternoon, says Kerry’s Iowa Caucus victory shouldn’t be interpreted as proof Kerry knows or even identifies with the problems in rural America. Nussle says Kerry won “the hearts and minds” of about “40-thousand democrats” when he won the Caucuses, making no headway with Independent voters who will decide the election. Nussle says the “Michael Moore anger agenda” that Kerry’s pursuing will not sway those Independents.
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