AMES, Iowa (CNN)- There is no question that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney believes the Hawkeye State could be the key to him winning the GOP presidential nomination.
Romney has invested heavily in Saturday's Republican straw poll including running television commercials leading up to the event.
"Change begins in Iowa," he said to Republicans attending Saturday's straw poll. "It begins today. You are going to make it happen. Let's go out there and win one.'
This theme was echoed by Romney's wife, Ann, who is playing a prominent role in his presidential campaign.
"We have come to recognize that this is the heartland and you have touched our hearts," she said. "Our lives have been changed because of you."
- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston