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Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Chicago Obama Campaign Machine Works Iowa

Eight campaign offices spread throughout state

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It may seem a bit early, but the Obama campaign team already has troops on the ground in Iowa. (Published Monday, Jan 2, 2012)

    The Republican Iowa caucus is getting most of the attention right now, but the Democrats are also holding a caucus -- and you may be surprised to learn that President Obama's campaign machine is already on the ground working that state.

    NBC 5's Carol Marin visited a campaign office in Johnston, Iowa where staffers were operating a phone bank, one of eight offices spread throughout the state.

    Obama may be a shoo-in to win on the Democratic side, but the campaign is keeping their eye on the larger prize.

    "The date is November 6, and you know I think the reason that we're first is that every journey starts with a first step," Iowa Democratic chairman Sue Dvorsky said.

    Iowa was the state that helped catapult Obama four years ago, beating Hillary Clinton and later John McCain in the general election.

    "It's hard to get people excited yet, because the way I feel is, we don't have that enemy yet," Democratic voter Monica McCarthy said.

    Consultant Pete D'Alessandro cut his political teeth in Berwyn, IL, but now advises campaigns in Iowa. He says questions remain for the Obama campaign.

    "Can you hold North Carolina, can you hold Florida, can you hold Virginia? I think that's really going to be the issue," D'Alessandro said.