Since his commanding performance in Denver, Romney has not only closed the gap somewhat in Black Hawk and Linn counties, he has seen a significant boost in the intensity of support in the dark-red, soon-to-be liquidated 5th Congressional District represented by Steve King.
In the 2012 caucuses, Rick Santorum dominated that deeply conservative western section of the state, while Romney struggled to connect with the heavily evangelical and rural population (just as he did in his 2008 caucuses loss to Mike Huckabee). But the Republican nominee now appears to have built a comfortable, double-digit lead over Obama in most of those counties, and his campaign expects turnout there to be sky-high on Nov. 6.
Perhaps even more important for Romney, internal polls have shown him closing Obama’s narrow advantage in swing voter-heavy Scott County, where the GOP standard-bearer held a rally Monday in Davenport.
In his remarks introducing Romney at that event, Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad noted that he had won the county in each of his five gubernatorial campaigns and suggested that the candidate’s economic message would produce similar results on Tuesday.
Additionally, the Romney campaign believes that it is outperforming its goal in the heavily white, blue-collar counties that dot southeastern Iowa, an encouraging sign for any statewide Republican candidate.
“Our state Senate tracking polls are moving [Romney’s] way in swing districts, and the sweep of endorsements over the weekend gives him a sense of momentum,” said Iowa GOP operative Steve Grubbs. “I predict he wins Iowa.”
That being said, Obama's superb GOTV operation has a heavy presence in the state.
But even Iowa Republicans who are most convinced that the tide has turned admit that Obama’s extensive ground operation here -- which never left and has been growing steadily since early 2007 -- remains a powerful weapon for the president.
Romney has nothing in place that comes close to matching Obama’s micro-targeting get-out-the-vote machine, which one state Republican described as “startling in its attention to detail.”