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News Analysis: 7000 Iowans Greet Senator Obama - May 20, 2008

posted on May 23, 2008 at 12:27 PM

Yeager: Let's start with an event that drew national attention, world attention, again, right in downtown Des Moines on the steps of the Capitol, 7000 people by campaign estimates, Senator Barack Obama. How did he call himself when he showed up that night? It was speculation is he going to say I'm the nominee now.

Henderson: Well, he described it as a moment that we have come to in which he had a majority of pledged delegates. In other words, he has accumulated enough people through the process so far that he has the majority of those who are pledged. That is not those alleged super delegates, unpledged delegates. So, he does have a statistical milestone and there seems to be little mathematical edge for Clinton in all of this.

Yeager: And how do you say that?

Henderson: Unless she overwhelmingly wins the majority ...

Yeager: I was going to say, is there something I missed there?

Henderson: No, the other interesting thing is maybe to compare and contrast. John McCain came to Des Moines, Iowa a few days before Barack Obama did and he had an event in the Convention Complex, an indoor venue and maybe drew two or three hundred people. This event drew significantly more if you trust the campaign estimate of 7000. That is 30 times more than the McCain people drew and it was an enthusiastic crowd. It was not as the Clinton campaign might want you to believe a bunch of young kids bussed in from Chicago. I talked with retirees from Cedar Rapids, I talked with folks from Keokuk, I talked with folks from Sioux City, all older folks who made the trip here to stand there and wait for a couple of hours until Barack Obama arrived.

Yeager: So, he makes his comments but he loses that night in Kentucky by a wide margin, wins in Oregon.

Henderson: She wrapped him is the phrase.

Yeager: When do we expect, again, that we'll see a candidate come through here? Will it be the July 4th parades or will we see one of these two back again?

Henderson: I suspect Senator McCain will be back before Senator Obama will. The reason I say that is because McCain's campaign has already invested in Iowa in terms of television advertising. If Iowans are flipping through the channels and watching some of those commercial channels they are seeing McCain ads. And so this is one of those battleground states where they will both be campaigning now through November.


Tags: Barack Obama Iowa news presidential candidates