lunes, 9 de julio de 2012

Iowa: grandes expectativas, grandes decepciones

The Des Moines Register:

Last week, The Des Moines Register interviewed 23 Republican and independent Iowa Poll respondents who helped carry Obama in the first-in-the-nation caucuses and general election in Iowa in 2008. Eighteen of them said they definitely would not vote for Obama this year.

One explanation for their dearth of enthusiasm can be summed up by the news on the first Friday morning of each month: the unemployment report. Each lackluster economic report, like the one two days ago that pinpointed the jobless rate unchanged at 8.2 percent, reinforces the sense among Iowans that the country is on the wrong track.

But each former Obama voter interviewed by the Register offered a different take on what bugs them.

Smith, the 51-year-old small business owner from Clive, explained her disappointment this way: She was drawn to Obama’s message that “we’re not red states, we’re not blue states, we’re the United States." But now the nation seems even more divided, she said.

The federal debt deeply concerns Smith, who re-registered as a Republican in 2010. Smith, who works in the advertising industry, said she and her husband “cut out all the extras” in 2008 during the recession. Thirteen workers dwindled to seven today, and her husband does the cleaning. The family’s lake home seemed like an expense beyond their means, so they sold it.

“We as a country need to finally learn the lesson that we don’t have the money,” she said.

The day last month when the U.S. Supreme Court made its ruling to uphold the controversial federal health care law, Smith made her first contribution to Romney: $100.

Young people lifted Obama onto their shoulders four years ago, but with unemployment among recent college graduates at historic highs, some said they’re hanging up on him now.

At age 16, Des Moines student Megan La Suer witnessed the hubbub of the 2008 Democratic caucuses with her parents, both Obama backers. “People were going crazy,” she said. “Everybody was really excited.”

La Suer was too young to vote in November 2008 or she would have cast a ballot for Obama, she said. But after studying health care and economics at the University of Iowa, she came to her own conclusions about the federal budget and economic policy.

“The big thing is I want to have a job when I graduate,” said La Suer, now 20. “Obama has promised that, and I don’t think we’ve seen the results that he’s promised.”

This summer, La Suer co-founded Students for Mitt Romney.

Some of Obama’s Iowa support has leached to Ron Paul. Disabled Guthrie Center resident Leo Kenzie, 65, is an independent voter who caucused for Obama four years ago. He now backs Paul for president.

“Obama did the typical political thing — he said a bunch of things before he got elected, but he hasn’t come through with it,” Kenzie said.

It’s a common theme among Obama defectors. Four years ago, Iowans hung on his every word. Headlines reflected the gushiness people felt for this new leader, and tears streamed the night he won.

Pollster J. Ann Selzer said Iowans expected an abundance of hope and change, “but anyone who steps into that much enthusiasm is bound to fail. We call it ‘anticipointment.’ ”
Leyendo esto, no es de extrañar que Obama tenga previsto volver mañana a Iowa, por segunda vez en el último mes y por cuarta vez en lo que va de año.

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