Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have been very publicly voicing their support of the four Iowa Republicans who’re running for congress. On September 7th when Mitt Romney was speaking at a rally in Orange City, he pointed to Steve King — currently a congressman from northwest Iowa. “I’m looking here at Steve King,” Romney said. “This man needs to be your congressman again. I want him as my partner in Washington, D.C.” The Republican congressional candidate in northeast Iowa — introduced Paul Ryan at a rally October 1st in Dubuque. “How about Ben Lange, huh?” Ryan said immediately after getting the microphone. “We’ve got to send this guy to represent us.”
John Archer, the G-O-P congressional candidate in the southeast quadrant of the state, got a similar shout-out from Ryan at a rally in Burlington last Tuesday.”That guy’s going to be your next congressman,” Ryan said of Archer. “Make sure it happens, all right?” And when Mitt Romney rallies with Republicans on a farm near Van Meter Tuesday, Republican Congressman Tom Latham will be there. Nick Ryan ran former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle’s campaigns in 2000, 2002 and 2004 and he says there’s “no question” the competitive presidential race has been a factor in this year’s Iowa congressional races. But Ryan sees a reverse benefit as well.
“When you have strong congressional candidates working with a strong presidential campaign, good things are able to happen,” Ryan says. Ryan says all four Republican congressional candidates — two incumbents and two challengers — have all amassed valuable lists of volunteers in each of the four districts.This past Saturday’s statewide get-out-the-vote effort by Republicans — to benefit all the G-O-P candidates on the November ballot — is a case in point. “I’ve seen numbers that compare 2008 volunteer activity — phone call activity and door-knocking activity — to 2012 and our voter contacts in 2012 far out-pace what they did in 2008,” Ryan says. ”
Regardless of how it’s working, it’s working very well.” Latham’s congressional campaign is renting office space in Urbandale to the Romney campaign, but James Carstensen, a spokesman for Latham, downplays the idea there’s a strong connection with the Romney camp. “As far as running campaigns together, we just don’t,” Carstensen says. Carstensen says Latham believes if he runs a “strong, independent” campaign, it will benefit Republicans up and down the ticket.
(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)