Republicans are holding a rally in Cedar Rapids late this afternoon, on the eve of Vice President Joe Biden’s appearance with Governor Chet Culver in Cedar Rapids. 

Iowa Republican Party chairman Matt Strawn says Biden is trying to rally Democrats who are “dispirited by Culver’s dismal” prospects for reelection.  Strawn says the November election will be a “referendum” on Culver’s leadership.

“We need to talk about how Governor Culver has failed the people of Iowa,” Strawn says. 

This morning, Culver kicked off his “Choosing a Better Iowa, Choosing a Brighter Future” campaign with an event in Des Moines.  Strawn spoke with reporters a few minutes after Culver concluded his speech. “We do need to choose a better Iowa and choosing a better Iowa starts with choosing a better governor,” Strawn said. 

A spokesman for one of the three candidates competing to be the G.O.P.”s nominee for governor issued a written statement.  “With Governor Culver you get political rhetoric,” said Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for former Governor Terry Branstad.  “With Governor Branstad you get proven results.” 

Also today, Branstad’s campaign revealed the former governor raised over $1.6 million dollars in the past four-and-a-half months for his 2010 campaign.