That was President Barack Obama’s margin of victory by percentage points in the 2008 election in Iowa, where he’s campaigning on a bus tour for three days this week. Today the president visits the communities of Oskaloosa, Marshalltown and Waterloo. Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a U.S. Representative from neighboring Wisconsin, campaigned in Iowa yesterday.
Iowa, one of about 10 states that strategists in both parties think will decide the election, votes slightly more Democratic than the nation-at-large in presidential elections. Its 53.9 percent vote share for Obama in 2008 was just above his 52.9 percent showing nationwide.
Iowa was the second-closest state in the 2004 election, siding with President George W. Bush by seven-tenths of one percentage point, and the fourth-closest state in the 2000 election, backing Democrat Al Gore over Bush by three-tenths of one percentage point.
Iowa residents 65 and older accounted for 14.9 percent of the state population as of the 2010 Census, the fifth-highest share behind Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Both parties are seeking to rally support from older voters, who have higher election turnout rates than younger voters.