The Obama campaign announced Saturday afternoon that Barack and Michele Obama will return to Des Moines Tuesday night for a "welcome back" rally to kick-off their general election campaign in the state that catapulted Obama to the frontrunner position and knocked the 'inevitable Democratic presidential nominee' Sen. Clinton off her throne.
Iowa has been identified by both McCain and Obama campaigns as a state in play for the general election. Hawkeye voters have a habit of 'swinging' between the Blue and Red columns in presidential elections and both campaigns are hot to win the state this November.
In 2004, Hawkeye voters helped President Bush stay in the White House by a 50-49 percent split between Bush and Kerry. In 2000, Gore won 49 percent to Bush's 48 percent. Bill Clinton claimed Iowa in 1992 and 1996.
Unfortunately for McCain, he has a lot of ground to make up and Obama is not 'letting any grass grow under his feet' as one of Iowa Obama supporter told off-the-bus.
"Obama winning Iowa proves he can win white working class voters," said one giddy Hawkeye voter who attended her caucus in a white blue-collar neighborhood that went overwhelming for Obama in January.
Obama won a stunning victory in this first caucus state which began his long and torturous ascent to the Democratic nomination when he captured 38 percent of the vote, while John Edward's eked out a second place win by narrowly beating Sen. Clinton for second place.
Clinton was favored to win the Iowa caucuses but Obama's campaign showcased their now-famous organizational and strategic playbook when they successfully pulled into their fold traditional Democrats as well as the fickle Independent and youth vote and a sizable Republican voter switch to the Dems.
The presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain has visited Iowa several times in the last three weeks and is now running TV ads that sound more populist change-agent than conservative status quo Republican as he attempts to gain ground in this important swing state.
McCain snubbed Iowans choosing not to campaign in their summer straw poll or their caucuses six months later. Instead, McCain spent his time campaigning in New Hampshire. The rebuke didn't sit well with the rank and file and these politically sophisticated voters have long memories. McCain finished at the bottom of the long list of GOP candidates in the caucuses.
In an Associated Press story, the Obama campaign staffers described Iowa as "a critical general election state that Democrats must win in November." This could be his best state to 'flip' according to their campaign and political pundits.
Since Sen. Clinton continues to campaign in the remaining primary states in spite of the overwhelming 'improbable' math against her winning the nomination, Sen. Obama isn't expected to make any victory laps in Iowa.
With only 2,026 delegates needed to secure the nomination, Obama currently claims 1,905 delegates to Clinton's 1,719 and until the last primary states vote on June 3, Obama is expected to remain the near-presumptive nominee.
His Tuesday rally in Iowa after the Kentucky and Oregon primaries is yet another sign that Obama has started his general election campaign in earnest.