JOHNSTON — Iowa is crucial to both presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to two veteran campaign operatives who discussed the state of the race Friday during recording of this weekend’s “Iowa Press.”
Iowa has been one of the most competitive states in polling on the presidential election, most showing Trump or Clinton leading only within the polls’ margins of error.
Although Trump has been gaining nationally in recent polls, a Monmouth University Poll published this week shows him ahead by 8 percent points in Iowa.
Still, most prognosticators say the Electoral College map shapes up better for Clinton.
The tightening race means Iowa’s six Electoral College votes will be important to either candidate’s hopes for becoming the next president.
“At this point … it is incredibly important to both, and I think both candidates would, both of their campaigns would tell you that,” said Brad Anderson, who ran President Barack Obama’s successful 2012 re-election campaign in Iowa. “And we saw this in 2012. We saw, at the end of the day, it will come down to five or six states, and Iowa will be one because the math just doesn’t work in a lot of ways without the electoral votes from Iowa.”
John Stineman, who ran Steve Forbes’ 2000 presidential campaign in Iowa, said Iowa is crucial to Trump because of the difficulty of the Electoral College map for him.
“I would say that it’s undeniable that the Electoral College at this point in time favors the Democratic candidate,” Stineman said. “And the math is there that there is a path for Trump. And whether Trump or any other Republican, it is a much more challenging path to 270 (the number of electoral votes needed to win), and I think that there’s no way to shake it out other than to say that Iowa matters a great deal for Trump’s victory scenario.”
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Trump already has campaigned in Iowa four times during the general election. Clinton has been in Iowa once and held a Labor Day event in the Quad Cities, just across the river from Iowa in western Illinois.
“Iowa Press” airs at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on WORLD. 3 and at noon Sunday on IPTV.