Romney returns to Iowa battleground for Joni Ernst

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It seems like old times for Mitt Romney in Davenport on Friday.

"Absolutely," he said. "I'd love to come back to Iowa. Come back and see some friends."

While the former Republican presidential nominee knows all about the Hawkeye state, this time he's stumping for Senate candidate Joni Ernst.

"This is a person who is very different from the typical politician," he said. "This is a mom, a farmer, a soldier, and most of all, a public servant."

Ernst is in a heated primary battle. She's campaigning to win the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Tom Harkin.

"What I'd like to do is take our Iowa values and our Iowa way to Washington, D.C., as your next United States Senator," she said.

Ernst literally came out of nowhere to grab national attention. She features a no-nonsense approach. That resonates with a crowd of supporters in Davenport.

"She represented a lot of the values that we believe in," said Jeffrey Sweatt, Davenport.

"She's it, I think," added Dick Cole, Davenport.

The Iraq war veteran wants to prove she has the right stuff for national office. That's important for Republicans, who are trying to grab a majority of Senate seats.

"Listening to Joni, I would say that Iowa is definitely in play," said Sweatt.

Dubbed by some as the Sarah Palin of Iowa, Ernst may be on the fast track to primary success. Iowa voters go to the polls on June 3.

"That will be the first step to sending me to Washington, D.C.," she said.

The Republican winner will take on Rep. Bruce Braley in the November election.

Ernst wants to keep the momentum rolling. That's why she offers a get-out-the-vote endorsement from Mitt Romney.

"I am convinced that she is exactly what America needs in Washington, D.C.," he said.

The Romney rally had a familiar feel, but this time it's for another candidate.

It's old-time campaigning for an Iowa friend.