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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Obama to Make Three-Day Campaign Swing Through Iowa


At a time when he usually races from state to state seeking votes, President Obama has decided to invest much of next week in a single place, Iowa, the one where it all began for him.

Mr. Obama's campaign announced on Tuesday that he would make a three-day bus tour through Iowa, joined in part by his wife, Michelle. Iowa has long held a special place in the Obama creation story as the state whose caucuses propelled him on his way to the Democratic nomination in 2008.

Jen Psaki, a campaign spokeswoman, called it “an opportunity for the president to visit a state where the journey began” and “build enthusiasm” in a key state. “He also loves bus tours because it allows him to spend time with people where they work, where they spend their days and to have conversations about the challenges they are facing,” she said.

This time, Mr. Obama returns as an embattled incumbent trying to hold his own territory. A cumulative average of polls collected by the Web site Real Clear Politics shows that his lead there has slipped to barely 1 percentage point, its lowest since last December and within the margin of error, making it effectively a tie with Mitt Romney. Still, there has been so little recent polling in the state that it is hard to evaluate precisely where the race stands.

Iowa is one of the handful of states considered crucial to putting together the 270 votes in the electoral college needed to win the presidency. With six electoral votes, it is one of eight states rated a tossup by The New York Times, and it is among the states where Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the Koch brothers, will begin broadcasting ads attacking Mr. Obama this week.

Mr. Obama will arrive in Iowa on Monday and hold campaign events in Council Bluffs and Boone. He will travel to Oskaloosa, Marshalltown and Waterloo on Tuesday and then, j oined by the first lady, to Dubuque and Davenport on Wednesday.