Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is due in Iowa later today (Saturday) for rallies in Sioux City and Des Moines. John McCain, the candidate at the top of the G.O.P. ticket, will headline a rally in Cedar Falls on Sunday.
Heavy Republican turn-out in northwest Iowa was key to George Bush’s 2004 victory over John Kerry in Iowa. Christopher Rants of Sioux City, the leader of Republicans in the Iowa House, expects Palin to "pack the house" when she appears today in Sioux City.
"Republicans are going to be energized heading into the final week and I think that’s good for all of us," Rants says, "from the top of the ticket to the bottom." According to Rants, the McCain/Palin ticket does need to "energize" the base of the Republican Party.
"I think that that’s why they are spending time in Iowa in the final week," Rants says. "I realize that some of the news outlets have already written off Iowa and said it’s hopeless, but obviously the McCain/Palin team feels otherwise (or) they wouldn’t be spending valuable time and resources in Iowa in the last week."
The Obama campaign, meanwhile, has dispatched former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach — a Republican — to northwest Iowa to hold "Republicans for Obama" events. Leach was in Sioux City Friday afternoon and in Spencer last night. He’ll visit Mason City and Waterloo today.