Last minute campaigning is underway in the US state of Iowa before the first votes are cast tomorrow in the country’s long state-by-state battle to choose the next President.
Knowing she is neck-and-neck with her closest rival Barack Obama, Democrat Senator and former First Lady Hilary Clinton stressed her political experience: “Starting Thursday night, we are taking our country back and you all are going to lead the way.”
Speaking in Des Moines, Obama sought to capitalise on the latest polls showing him in the lead: “We stand on the brink of doing something very very special right here in Iowa.” While former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is giving both of them a run for their money.
Victory in Iowa is no guarantee of getting the keys to the White House almost a year from now. But analysts say a win here would bring media attention, political credibility and a degree of momentum to a Presidential campaign.
“About four out of every ten voters make up their mind traditionally in the last couple of days so people are making up their minds now. They pick up the paper and they realise, hey, these guys are winners. People like to be behind a winner,” said one commentator.
In the Republican camp, multimillionaire businessman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is fighting for first place with the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee is heading to California today to appear on a national television talk show. With a day to go before voting gets underway, it is all about playing to the gallery.