August 15th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Election Express: Back where it all began

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" The CNN Election Express is heading across the country."] DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - We’re back where it all began. Iowa’s caucuses kicked off the presidential primary season back on January 3. And Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa altered the landscape in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The CNN Election Express spent about a month in Iowa late last year to cover all the campaign action. Now we’re back - and for good reason. If you thought once the caucuses ended, Iowa was out of the political picture: Think again.

Vice President Al Gore won the state by only 4,000 votes in the 2000 presidential election. President Bush carried the state by only 10,000 votes four years ago. This time around, the fight for Iowa’s seven electoral votes should be another close one. The most recent state polls give Obama a slight lead over presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

Today we’re at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The annual fair is a must for anyone running for the White House, and it’s also a great place to talk to voters about what’s on their minds.

McCain was here last week, speaking out and talking to voters.

"I've had the great honor as I’'ve been walking around here and meeting people and saying hello to run into our great men and women who have served in our military, and that includes the Iowa guard and reserve,” said McCain.

He never ran an all out campaign to win the Iowa caucuses. Not in 2000, in his first run for the presidency, when he came in fifth in the caucuses. And not this time, when he came in fourth.

“McCain put his money on New Hampshire, which he won both years. The New Hampshire contest includes a lot more Independents - and a lot fewer evangelical voters,” says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider, who’s riding the CNN Election Express as we make our way from DC to Denver, site of the Democratic National Convention.

But that was then. This is now. And as Schneider says, “McCain’s not about to write Iowa off the way he did in the caucuses.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Election Express • Iowa • John McCain
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. proud army and navy mom

    if the good people of iowa are smart, they will see thru mccain. He is a bush/cheney puppet that will not be a good leader for this country.

    Mcwarmonger is already making his staff work overtime to coverup his ineptness and fumbles. Just imagine what it would be like if he were elected pres. That is positively scary.

    Sen Obama evokes competent and wisdom that is sorely needed in the White house.

    August 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. vic nashville,Tn

    CNN EXPRESS good you are back But I won’t believe what ever you say until you appear in LOU DOBBS

    August 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Charlotte

    Guess Obama doesn't need Iowa. Isn't that where Michelle commented, "there ain't blacks in Iowa."

    August 15, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Credit Card Republicans

    Glen Beck should be on Faux News,not CNN.If I were CNN I would be ashamed .

    August 15, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. anyonmous


    August 15, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Geri

    This bus is traveling all over promoting Obama. Isn't that against some rules of the television industry?? The Messiah hasn't won yet but if he does we can definitely rename CNN as the official Obama News Network. Wonder ow they will cover his screw ups and his inability to speak without a teleprompter.

    August 15, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. California Gold

    McCain's voting record is not the record that will hand him Iowa in November, no matter how many pigs he is photographed kissing.

    August 15, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Peter of Oregon

    My friends, the once "maverick" will never go back where he once began. He's been soiled by all of that elitist, big-oil, Americans making over $250,000 a year money.

    Let me give you some straight talk... The Straight Talk Express ran off it's tracks a few months ago when McCain lost his bearings as he secured the Republican nomination.

    August 15, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. David

    Follow Obama .....and you end up going around in circles

    August 15, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Gee and did someone check to see if all those "students" oprah bussed in to vote in Iowa, when they returned back to Illinois and the other states voted there also. Crooks from the get go...but then HE said Hillary would do anything to get elected.

    August 15, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. ANGIE

    MCCAIN IS NOW MCLIAR GO FACT CHECK OBAMAS TAX PROPOSALS MCCAIN IS LYING cnn when are you gonna report that the pastor that married jenna bush is slaming mccain for suggesting cindy particapate in the miss buffalo chip contest in sd offering his wife to go topless the pastor calls it a disgrace and hes right mccain is disgraceful to woman calling his wife the c word joking about chelsea clinton being ugly joking about woman being raped or wife beating google it its out there i dont know how any woman in their right mind could vote for him the clinton woman supporters surley have no respect for hillary or her daughter to support mccain!!!!!!!!

    August 15, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Clinton/McCain

    Only 11% of Iowa Democrats participated in the Iowa Caucses, 11%!!! CLOSE DOWN THE CAUCUSES.

    August 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. dittohead with forty names

    My name is really "Legion" for we are many,and we listen to Rush Limbaugh everyday to get our taking points.

    August 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Raymond Duke

    I never knew the bus was any where else except up Barack Hussien Obama's backside with the rest of the cnn network except for Lou Dobbs who is an indepedent. They really want to make it more obvious they can always send Jack Cafferty ( the recovering Drunk) who lost all his brain cells who for some reason hates everybody but Obama. But i Guess the reason he likes him so much is that he is like Jack. They can point out all the problems and holler for hope and change but can not give you one solution. I bet Georgia had a lot of hope and change before the Russians kicked their tail. Then they did what all you liberals would do. Started screaming for help and giving speeches in the city square of the capital. Words like change and hope don't work so good against bullets.

    August 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Joe Kiloz

    I apologize for my previous nasty postings. I'm an idiot.

    August 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Obama BinBiden

    Watch out for the cow patties!

    August 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. Xango

    oh lord
    first off, why is the DNC even bringin the clintons in all of this???
    if something happens to obama look no further who has her name in the nomination "just in case soemthing happens.

    the clintons are pure evil

    the DNC is just their puppet

    i rather have mc bush again... than the evil empire... clinton
    what a shame

    August 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. SIMP


    Your stupid remark about Michelle Obama is so petty. If you are not sure, or didn't hear or see if for yourself then don't repeat it. You sound like those inbreeds in WV, you just sit around and make up stuff.


    August 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Hello!!!

    Election Express....bought and paid for by the Obama Campaign....

    I have officially decided to vote for McCain. I was going to possibly vote for an independent, or third party candidate, or just not vote at all……but DAVID GERGEN has just convinced me to vote for McCain.

    August 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Obama BinBiden

    Peter of Oregon

    What are you on? Look at the bus again...and for you, don't sniff the cow patties.

    August 15, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Raymond Duke

    To adress caucaus. First they are not a vote by everyone in the state and they are not secret. Next ; most americans that vote work for a living and cannot stand around for 24 to 48 hours to play games with musical chairs to get their voice heard or that supposed vote counted. In other words if you are retired , unemployed, dad or mom paying your way to college, welfare receiptent or homeless or a drug addict hanging out on the street and someone gives you enough money for a (Hit) or whatever. Hey you got nothing else to do anyway, It isn't like you are working or paying taxes or looking out or supporting anyone. I guarrantee some of them states that went for Obama in the primarys that helped defeat Clinton will be as red as blood in November. I can hear it now. Them (WHITEY RACIST CRACKERS0 changed their mind when they could do it in secret. The truth is that a caucaus is not a true reflection of a states votes based on the info i provided.

    August 15, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. politics

    I don't know how any realistic person would even consider voting for McCain. It is sad

    August 15, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Texas Trail Dog


    August 15, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Des Moines Guy

    "Clinton/McCain: Only 11% of Iowa Democrats participated in the Iowa Caucses, 11%!!! CLOSE DOWN THE CAUCUSES."


    I completely agree that the caucus is not a fair way to vote for someone. They are completely disorganized, they allow people to switch parties to vote the same day, and people try to intimidate you to vote for their candidate. Obama's camp was incredibly rude to the other candidate's supporters.

    That day was bitterly cold and we had a lot of snow. Many of the older folks couldn't make it out to vote due to harsh weather conditions. In addition to that, there is a very short window of time that you can cast your vote. The doors literally close at 7. This is NOT a democratic way - Obama often talks about how things aren't fair. This is a prime example where the process that isn't fair helped to put him where he's at today.

    August 15, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. calm down

    At this modern time and date, you really cannot count on poll's because most of us have cell phones not house phones.

    August 15, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
1 2