POLITICS

First Lady to donors: Move to Iowa and campaign!

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

As polls show President Obama struggling to hold a lead over Mitt Romney in the state that launched his presidential campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama suggested that Chicago supporters move to Iowa to campaign for her husband.

“[I]f things look good where you are, things are feeling just so great for Barack Obama where you’re living, then pack a bag,” Mrs. Obama said to laughter during a Women for Obama fundraiser at the Standard Club in Chicago. “And spend some time in a battleground state like Iowa,” she continued, saying  “that’s where we need you to talk to those undecided voters.”

Her emphasis on Iowa, however lighthearted the delivery, suggests that the Obama campaign is openly concerned about its prospects there — a striking development  given Obama’s history with the state. His victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses launched his meteoric rise and began the process of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the primary. Obama then carried the state by a commanding eight points in the 2008 general election.

Even so, Republican strategist Karl Rove has suggested that Mitt Romney regard the traditionally-Democratic state as a crucial one in his quest to win the White House.

The last two polls of the Iowa presidential election, both conducted in June, respectively show Obama and Romney leading by one point. The RCP average of the five polls conducted since May shows Obama leading by 2.5 points.

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