Activists in both parties are working feverishly to pump Iowans up to attend Thursday night’s presidential caucuses. In northwest Iowa’s Sioux County, where Republicans heavily outnumber Democrats, county GOP chairman Mark Lundberg says the earlier date, the proximity to the New Year’s holiday and the weather may all play a role.
Lundberg says he’s "real curious" about attendance since the caucus is so early this year and many college students aren’t in town, adding, "I have no really good handle" on how many people may turn out. He says all the major candidates have been through the Sioux Center area, some several times, and the impact of more money being spent on the campaign is obvious.
"There’s a lot more money in the race this time, early on. Obviously, Huckabee’s done well with not a lot of resources, but the Obama, Hillary camp has spent a lot of money," Lundberg says, "Romney’s spent a lot of money." He says John McCain is "doing surprisingly well after he fell on the sword on the immigration bill in August."
Lundberg is predicting it will be a two-man race in his area between Republicans Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. He says he’s been "stunned" by the negativity against Huckabee with calls mostly from Romney supporters who "unload on Huckabee awful." Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats in Sioux County nearly five-to-one. Meanwhile, Iowa’s most Democrat-leaning county is Johnson County, home to Iowa City.