Running Mate Blog

By: Samantha Hayes
By: Samantha Hayes

Caucus Eve in Iowa
By Samantha Hayes in Des Moines, Iowa

If they have any steam left after 2007, the presidential candidates are using it as they campaign through Iowa one last time before the caucuses Thursday night. Polls indicate the race is tight for both Republicans and Democrats even after millions of dollars in advertising and countless appearances by the presidential candidates.

In these final hours before the caucuses many of the candidates are taking a different approach. They are trying to appeal to voters' desire to make a difference in this election. During a recent campaign stop Republican Mike Huckabee, who is in a statistical tie with his much better-funded rival, Mitt Romney, told those gathered that they can be the ones to make history. He said if they caucus for him, it could lead to a history-making presidential election and one they could tell their grandchildren about.

There is certainly a long way to go before the ink dries in the history books, but Huckabee has seen remarkable support in recent weeks. Some pundits say he's given Evangelical Christians a political home - but when I met two gentleman at breakfast who deal with financial matters for Huckabee's campaign they put forward another reason. "He's a really genuine person," said one of them. "He doesn't have to fake it."

They told me their job was to raise money for Huckabee in Florida and insisted he was winning support from state lawmakers and people who had switched from Giuliani. But then of course everyone talks up their own candidate.

Running into two campaign finance managers is not a unique experience right now. At the hotel almost everyone is associated with the upcoming caucuses in some way or another. At the breakfast buffet I only ran into one person who was actually passing through Iowa on her way to somewhere else.

When Iowans caucus Thursday we will finally have the first votes of this election. And then we will see if other states follows Iowa's lead, or choose different candidates entirely.

As I finished my breakfast our conversation turned from politics to the other hot topic of the day: college bowl games. But like the political pundits, we couldn't agree on who would win the national championship.


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