The 4th district is Iowa's only district will no big cities. How does small-town and rural Iowa look at the issues of the 2008 election? The Iowa Journal looks at the economy through the 4th district's eyes.
The Iowa Journal speaks with Trent Rice, KASI Radio News Director from Ames, and Dr. John Epperson, Political Science Professor from Simpson College, in Indianola, to find out what might be major motivations for the voters and citizens this year.
Encompassing parts of central, north-central, and northeastern Iowa, the 4th district is a collection of 268 towns and cities located in 28 Iowa counties. All but two of these communities have been affected by this year’s storms and floods. Two towns in this district have also had major immigration raids in the past 2 years.
Besides the economy, traditional concerns of this district include agricultural, manufacturing and flood-recovery issues. This district has interests in higher education (it is home to Iowa State University and a dozen other colleges and universities), medical and elder care, transportation, and small town economic viability. New technology is part of the economy, with ‘green’ power like wind turbine farms, biodiesel factories, and hydrogen energy businesses starting up.
Presidential candidate Barak Obama’s popularity has increased the voter registration of Democrats in this district, so it is being watched nationally as a potential turn-around district at the U.S. Representative level. The incumbent is Republican Tom Latham, and the challenger is Democrat Becky Greenwald.
Radio Iowa reporter Kay Henderson discusses the state of the national economy and how it affects Iowa with host Paul Yeager.