- Title: USA: Voters in rural Iowa consider their options as Republican caucuses approach
- Date: 1st January 2012
- Summary: NEWSPAPER AND ARTICLE ABOUT CAUCUS
- Embargoed: 16th January 2012 12:00
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAANZ5MT8UOD2B6DRVDRGO5TODD
- Story Text: As Republican presidential candidates for crisscross Iowa, just days before the caucuses, voters in the rural Midwestern state are beginning to focus on what the candidates offer - and what they don't.
Saturday (December 31), voters in the rural community of Clear Lake spoke about their frustration and hopes for the election season.
Brad Barber is the owner of the Cabin Coffee Company - a coffee shop in Clear Lake Iowa. He's also a supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry.
"This is the most critical election of our century. And the reason that is, is because right now our freedoms and liberties are taken away. The government thinks they have the best answer. They do not. It is the people of the United States that work hard - the entrepreneurs and the people that we need to respect that dreamed, lived and died for us to have these freedoms. And how dare our government start taking some of these freedoms away. I'm tired of it. I'm really tired of it. So you know what? We need to have a president that's going to come in here, clean up Washington some, and make sure that we get some of our liberties and freedoms back that our families and ancestors died for," Barber said.
But others like 21-year-old Kara Mathis, one of Barber's workers, says she wants to give President Obama more time.
"You know I think the Republicans have a great shot at kind of overturning things and taking over for this next administration, but I hope Obama stays in there. I hope to give him another chance - just to continue what he started. I think four years is almost too short to get much done, so I hope if we want to get anything accomplished - to keep Obama in there, and see what happens."
Dan Gapinski, a patron in the coffee shop says the election process is difficult. He says that none of the candidates have distinguished themselves.
"It seems more - I don't mean evil in the true sense - but it's always like picking the lesser of the two evils. You know, it's kind of like, I see these folks and they say pretty much all the same thing, you know. You don't see differentiation between the candidates. They try to differentiate themselves among each other by kind of attacking. It's more like why does this person stand out? We get more, 'why the person shouldn't be in place,' and I kind of find that disturbing too on the same level," Gapinski said.
Polls in Iowa show former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney battling Texas Congressman Ron Paul for a momentum-generating win in the party's kickoff nominating contest.
The Iowa caucuses will take place on January 3, the first of the state-by-state contests to choose a party presidential nominee.
The mid-western state is famed for having an outsized influence on the contest for the White House.
Since 1976, there have been seven contested caucuses in the Republican Party. Of those contests, three winners have become the party's nominee.
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