FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2011, file photo, Republican presidential candidates former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, left, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, businessman Herman Cain, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, pose before a Republican presidential debate at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich. When it comes to education, the Republican field of presidential candidates has a unified stance to get the federal government out of schools, but disagree on methods. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Throughout the campaign for Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, it hasn't seemed to matter much that the state economy is in stronger shape than the rest of the country.
Unemployment is at 5.7 percent, agricultural real estate is selling at near all-time highs and some manufacturers are reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill their openings.
But Republican voters who focused in past presidential election years on pocketbook issues specific to Iowa, like corn subsidies or ethanol policy, say they're taking a wide-angle view of the economy this year. Many are businesspeople and farmers who equate a recovering national economy with renewed demand for their products.
These voters blame President Barack Obama for the economy's sputters and fear giving him a second term will slide it back toward the abyss.