150 days... That's the official countdown to the 2012 Presidential Election.
And as the national Democratic and Republican parties gear up their campaigns, their focus is on Iowa and Scott County. Because of last year's redistricting, Iowa's new district two is now the biggest area in the state based on population. And voters could go either way in November. Up until the 2010 election, Scott County was a blue county, but after that it turned red. The question is... What will it be in 2012?
Inside the Scott County Democratic headquarters on Brady Street, Chairwoman Susan Frembgen says it's supposed to be silent.
"This is the time when we start to gear up," says Susan.
With 150 days to go on Saturday, June 9th, election efforts have gone from inside to outside, from signs to streets, from desks to doors.
"Door-knocking, phone calls, events.." lists Susan. "We all know this is the big ground, the battlegrounds for the November 6th election."
But in order to battle, there needs to be two and the Republican rival is just a couple miles away. On Thursday, June 7th, the Scott County Republicans moved into their temporary headquarters across from NorthPark Mall. But Chairwoman Judy Davidson says their presence is permanent.
"We've been doing things and preparing and laying the groundwork for this election for a long time and since the 2010 election, we have not really stopped," says Judy.
And it shows. Iowa is one of a dozen swing states in the country and one of just three states where polls put President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in a dead heat at 44% each.
"It's going to be a competitive general election," said U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack after Tuesday's Primary on June 5th. "We know that for a fact. Both parties in Washington, D.C. have targeted this particular district."
Congressman Loebsack's race will be one of the ones they watch. Republican Bettendorf attorney John Archer is challenging the Democratic incumbent for Iowa's 2nd District. It's a snapshot locally of what's happening nationally in the state or even the county that could determine the final vote.
For more information on the Scott County Democrats, go to http://www.scottcountydems.org/
For more information on the Scott County Republicans, go to http://www.scottcountyrepublicans.org/