Outgoing Governor Tom Vilsack dismisses the idea that if he wins the Iowa Caucuses next January it won’t be much of a boost to his candidacy because he’s expected to win his home state. “A win is a win in this process. A win means delegate votes..and you move on to the next state,” Vilsack says. “We expect to be very competitive in every state that starts this process.”
In recent polls of likely Iowa Democratic Caucus-goers, other Democrats like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton have garnered more support than Vilsack has. Vilsack points to other data in those polls showing him doing better than some of the Republicans who’re likely going to run for president. “If you look at recent polls and showing match-ups here in this state, I do better against Senator McCain and Mayor Guiliani than anybody else in this field,” Vilsack says. “It’s about winning. You’ve gotta win.”
Vilsack referred to himself as an “underdog” candidate when he announced a month ago that he was running for president, but he bristles when others suggest his candidacy is a long-shot. “I’m not going to get into the punditry,” Vilsack says. “I’m just going to tell you I’m going to take ’em one caucus and primary at a time and I’m going to do my very best. I have always been underestimated in this business. I have never been expected to win elections and I have never lost and I don’t intend to start now.”
Iowa’s 2008 precinct Caucuses are tentatively scheduled for Monday, January 14th. That could change if New Hampshire politicians upset that the state of Nevada is to hold Caucuses the Saturday after the Iowa Caucuses — and before the New Hampshire’s primary — decide to move their primary earlier.