Some Iowans waited in line yesterday for the chance to be among the first to cast votes in the 2012 election.

Early voting has been a focus for Democrats since Iowa law changed for the 2004 Election and allowed early voting to start 40 days before Election Day. This man was an early voter in Iowa City yesterday.

“I think I may have cast the first vote in Iowa for President Obama,” he told a reporter.

Republicans have focused on Election Day voting in the past, but this year is different. Republican Governor Terry Branstad spread that message last night during a conference call with GOP volunteers.

“Let’s all be sure that we vote early in order to bank as many votes for Republicans up and down the ticket as possible,” Branstad said.

Both presidential campaigns planned events in Iowa Thursday to tout early voting. Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson headlined a rally in Cedar Rapids, aimed at encouraging women to vote for Mitt Romney.

“Once again, Iowa is leading the way,” she said during an interview yesterday with Radio Iowa.”Starting early voting at this point, I think, is a great thing because people are working on Election Day and making it easy for working people, I think, is a good thing.”

Jason Alexander, the actor who portrayed George Costanza on “Seinfeld”, made several appearances in Iowa yesterday, encouraging voters to cast a ballot for President Obama. During an interview last night with Radio Iowa, Alexander said early voting should be “the national standard.”

“The notion that our citizenry can all get to these polls in a single day and it’s always a working day, you know, we’ve moved a little beyond those times,” Alexander said. “It’s innovations like this, I think, that should set the stage for how elections are performed going forward.”

An Iowa congressman and an Iowa congressman’s wife very publicly trekked to their county auditor’s office to cast their votes Thursday. November 6th is just 39 days away and campaign activity remains intense. First Lady Michelle Obama will speak at a rally in Cedar Falls early this afternoon. GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will arrive in Iowa Monday for a tour of four Iowa cities that sit along the Mississippi River.

In Dubuque, Ryan will go to Loras College, where his grandfather went to school. He’s also visiting Clinton, where his mother-in-law grew up, before making stops in Muscatine and Burlington. Vice President Joe Biden visited Muscatine and Burlington last week.