CEDAR RAPIDS – Republicans aren’t the only ones having fun as Iowans get ready to caucus.
Democrats will be caucusing, too. They just haven’t been making as much noise as the GOP, according to Rep. Tyler Olson, D-Cedar Rapids.
An early backer of then Sen. Barack Obama four years ago, Olson said Democrats will be gathering Jan. 3 to organize and continue their quiet campaign to re-elect the president.
“Republicans will be holding an electoral contest,” Olson said about the GOP caucuses where activists will cast their votes for a 2012 nominee. “Democratic caucuses will be an organizational tool.”
And come Jan. 4, when the Republican contenders leave Iowa for New Hampshire, South Carolina and elsewhere, “We’ll be right here, calling and talking about the president’s message,” Olson said.
The president will deliver a message to Iowa Democratic caucusgoers through a video conference during the caucuses. The president will be calling and live streaming via webcast into sites across the state of Iowa on caucus night, using the opportunity to organize volunteers and continue expanding its grassroots supporters.
“I think he’ll focus on jobs and the economy,” Olson said, “and hope to foster discussion on what we can do.”
Olson believes Democrats have an advantage in the November election in that they can focus on Obama’s re-election while Republicans are still choosing a nominee.
“They have a lot to do before the can concentrate on November,” he said, but Democrats already are focused on the general election. “I think we have a real advantage.”
Since the launch of the re-election campaign in April, Obama for America staff and volunteers have been organizing neighborhood by neighborhood, and block by block talking to their friends, family and co-workers, Olson said.
To date in Iowa, they have had more than 1,200 trainings, planning sessions, house parties, and phone banks, made more than 350,000 calls to supporters, had more than 4,000 one-on-one conversations and opened eight campaign offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, Dubuque, Sioux City, Des Moines, Davenport and Council Bluffs.
To find Democratic caucus sites, visit http://www.barackobama.com/ia.
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