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Hawkeye State

December 26, 2011 | By Paul West
The holiday hiatus, such as it was, has ended, and 2012 campaign advertising, post-Christmas edition, is taking flight in Iowa. A week and a day before the nation's leadoff caucuses, the airwaves of the Hawkeye State are once again clotted with a slew of ads, positive and negative, from the Republican presidential candidates and their supporters. The ads aren't limited to local broadcast outlets.  Fox News , a leading factor in the nationalization of the early voting contests, is reaping rich rewards from its intense coverage of the Republican nomination race.
November 6, 2012 | By Seema Mehta
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.
November 19, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
The Republican presidential candidates most actively courting Iowa voters are set to speak Saturday afternoon at a gathering of social conservatives, one of the biggest cattle calls remaining before the Jan. 3 caucuses. Saturday's Thanksgiving Family Forum is organized by a leading Iowa conservative, Bob Vander Plaats, and his group, the Family Leader. The format is meant to mimic the holiday dinner, with six candidates -- Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum -- gathered around a table participating in a discussion moderated by Frank Luntz.
Some people use their closets and drawers for storage. Professional clown Terry Knutson prefers his bathtub. That's where he keeps his shoe boxes, folded paper grocery bags and 29 partial rolls of toilet paper. The clutter, which extends throughout his Mission Hills property, is not part of Knutson's Clownzo the Clown act. But it has played a starring role in the real-life predicament of Knutson and his neighbors for more than a decade.
November 1, 2011 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Much of the Republican presidential field gathered here Tuesday to discuss how to improve the nation's economy. But what was most notable was who skipped the event — Iowa front-runners Mitt Romney and Herman Cain. The two men have staked their candidacies on their business resumes, arguing that their tenures as corporate chiefs make them perfectly suited to lead a nation in economic distress. So the forum by the National Assn. of Manufacturers — co-moderated by the state's Republican governor — would seem like an ideal audience.
September 29, 2011 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
After swarming Iowa before the August straw poll, presidential candidates have largely fled in favor of fundraising and events elsewhere. But their campaigns are working furiously as the winter caucuses loom. The campaigns are snatching up the most coveted activists and endorsements and signing up leaders for each of the state's 99 counties and the nearly 1,800 precincts. These workers, mostly volunteers, are charged with persuading the more than 100,000 voters expected on caucus night to support their candidate, and minding the details that make victory possible, like arranging rides on a freezing winter night.
May 15, 2012 | By Maeve Reston and Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
DES MOINES - Returning to the state that launched Barack Obama to the presidency, Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused his rival of carelessly driving the country into "a financial crisis of both debt and spending that threaten what it means to be an American. " The presumptive GOP nominee's stop in the Hawkeye State, which he largely ignored before its first-in-the-nation caucuses in January, reflected the importance Iowa will play in selecting the next president. Though there has been little recent public polling in Iowa, both sides clearly see a competitive race here - made clear by the fact that Romney's visit came three days after one by the vice president's wife, Jill Biden.
The New Iowa starts here, where C Street intersects Highway 30 and redemption fans out as far as the eye can see: Plastics, biotechnology and distribution, financial services and telecommunications and, of course, cornfields. Knocked to its knees in the 1980s farm crisis--when upward of 10,000 good blue-collar jobs bled off in short order--Iowa's No. 2 city has clawed its way back with a vengeance. Today, says the U.S. Census Bureau, Cedar Rapids is the star of the Rust Belt turnaround.
With polls indicating that his victory in Louisiana is boosting his prospects elsewhere, Patrick J. Buchanan hammered away Thursday at his hard-line themes of economic nationalism--hoping to repeat in the prairies his upset along the bayous.
August 31, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac and P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
Federal officials investigating conditions at the two Iowa mega-farms whose products have been at the center of the biggest egg recall in U.S. history found filthy conditions, including chickens and rodents crawling up massive manure piles and flies and maggots "too numerous to count. " Water used to wash eggs at one of the producers tested positive for a strain of salmonella that appears to match the variety identified in eggs that have sickened at least 1,500 people, according to preliminary Food and Drug Administration reports of inspections at facilities operated by Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa Inc. FDA officials who briefed reporters on the findings in a telephone conference call declined to say how serious the violations were for facilities that house millions of birds.
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