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Swing State Iowa: Critical Puzzle Piece for November Win

by Faith Eischen, published
Which candidate will win Iowa in the 2012 presidential election?

With less than four months until the general election, competition heats up between President Barrack Obama and GOP candidate, Mitt Romney. Meaning, swing states’ votes will be hot commodities come November.

In honor of what is predicted to be a close race, here's a closer look at swing state Iowa.

Iowa has up to six electoral votes and since 2000, the state’s voting history has leaned slightly left. However, it still remains a toss-up this upcoming election.

Recently, while Mitt Romney has been abroad, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have been avidly campaigning on behalf of the presidential hopeful in Iowa. Both Governors are also possible vice president candidates.

“You’re probably wondering why’s a guy from Virginia out here in Iowa. But Iowa and Virginia have a lot in common,” Gov. Bob McDonnell informed employees at Per Mar Security in Davenport. “Both are swing states, you know the president won big in both of our states last time, but the polls are a dead even heat now. So what happens in Virginia, what happens in Iowa could determine who’s going to be the next president of the United States.”

A major factor that may implicate the presidential race is the lucrative tax break for wind energy, which essentially would be a wind production tax credit. Iowa has the most wind energy jobs nationwide. Advocates for the tax break say that expiring the tax credit will lay off millions, whereas critics are wary of the $1.6 billion it will cost the federal government.

Mitt Romney’s campaign aides made a statement to the Des Moines Register explaining the GOP candidate’s position:

“He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,” Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, said in the statement. “Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results.”

President Barrack Obama supports the continuance of the tax credit. His campaign has strategically highlighted the wind energy tax credit in efforts to sway Iowa.

According to the Des Moines Register, “Wind is popular with Iowans, so Democrats see opposition to the tax credit as a serious weak spot for Romney and a way for Obama to pry away crucial votes in a tight election.”

President Barrack Obama may succeed in reaching over party lines to garnish support from major GOP leaders due to his support of the continuance of the wind tax credit. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), as well as the entire congressional delegation, backs the wind tax credit because they believe it to be a major economic tool in Iowa.

President Barrack Obama delivered his first victory speech in the primary race four years ago, which at the time, seemed like an unlikely win. Since that first victory, he has maintained sentimental value for the state. However, Iowa may be a tougher battleground to win for Barrack Obama this time around. Mitt Romney’s campaign has especially focused on Iowa and spent much time campaigning there, which has subsequently affected President Barrack Obama’s poll ratings. His poll ratings are lower compared to states surrounding Iowa.

Iowa’s six electoral votes are critical to both sides, but it remains unclear as to who will win the state’s votes. As elections come closer, the competition is surely to amplify and only time will reveal which way Iowa will swing.

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