President Obama won Iowa’s six electoral votes Tuesday, holding on to the state that launched his presidential bid four years ago, according to exit polls for the Associated Press and news networks.
His win over Mitt Romney was slimmer than the president’s margin last time, reflecting how the once-euphoric support for him in the state has dimmed.
Iowa’s half-dozen electoral votes are meager compared with other battleground states such as Ohio, Florida and Virginia, yet both campaigns considered the Hawkeye State a priority as they raced to assemble the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. Both Obama and Romney showered attention on the state, visited frequently and blanketed the airwaves.
Obama’s 2008 victory in the Iowa caucuses dynamically changed that race, showing that the then-senator could compete with front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and putting to rest skepticism about whether white voters would support a black presidential candidate. After four difficult years in office, the president was trying to rekindle the enthusiasm that fueled his 2008 win, rallying supporters on college campuses and bringing in stars from Bon Jovi to Bruce Springsteen to perform on his behalf.