Democrats: 2012 election important to us, too - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Democrats: 2012 election important to us, too

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

All political eyes are on Iowa as we get closer to the 2012 presidential caucus.  As Republicans battle it out to get that crucial early boost to their campaigns, Democrats say Iowa will be a battleground state for them in 2012, too. 

Congressman Bruce Braley is hoping to be re-elected to Iowa's newly reshaped first Congressional district.  Sunday, supporters gathered in Waterloo for his annual fundraiser. Braley knows the national tone toward Democrats isn't as positive now as it was during the 2008 election season, but he remains optimistic about his and his party's chances in 2012.

"We'll fare well in the next election as long as we get out and connect with voters, talking about the shared values we have and how our vision for moving this country forward is the right vision for voters," Braley said.

Braley's also counting on some star power, with support from Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  Wasserman Schultz and Braley agree that passing a jobs bill should be the top focus right now in Washington.

"We have got to make sure we focus on job creation and getting the economy turned around.  And that's what well all need to work together to focus on," said Wasserman Schultz.

But a lot of attention in Iowa is on the presidential campaign and Republicans vying for a victory in the caucus.  As the field of candidates crisscross the state campaigning, Democrats want to bring back the 2008 energy that pushed Barack Obama to victory in Iowa, then onto the national stage and ultimately into the White House.

"It's so important for Democrats to make sure that we're a presence in Iowa because there's a dramatic contrast between the direction President Obama has taken this country and begun to turn the economy around, there's a long way to go but we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and the direction Republicans want to take us, which is backward to the failed policies of the past," said Wasserman Schultz.

But of course voters will have the final say on whether Democrats or Republicans have control of our nation's capital.

This is the second time in a year that the DNC's chair has stumped for Iowa candidates.  Before last fall's mid-term elections, then DNC chair Tim Kaine came through Iowa, speaking at the Black Hawk County Democratic headquarters in Waterloo.

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