Republicans Not Giving Up On Iowa

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

(ST. LOUIS) - Recent political developments in the Midwest have not been promising for the Republicans. John McCain and Sarah Palin pulled out of Michigan early this month. Palin hasn't visited Wisconsin in more than two weeks and hasn't touched down in Minnesota in over a month.

But Iowa is one Big Ten state where the Republicans are still fighting hard. Palin holds rallies on Saturday in Sioux City and Des Moines, and McCain will follow in his running mate's heels as he travels to Waterloo Saturday night.

The Democrats are maintaining a solid lead in the latest Iowa polls, and the state's dynamics would seem to suit the Democrats. Iowa was the state that catapulted Obama to the front of the Democratic pack after his victory in the state's caucuses in January, and John McCain finished a distant fourth in the Republican field.

Still, the Republicans have to compete in states with less than ideal conditions, and one GOP operative with strong Iowa ties recently told CBS News that internal polling numbers show that the state could be a lot closer than the polls indicate.

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.