Voting Latham, Undecided in Presidential Race
ANKENY, Iowa -- When Jana Rhoads, a mother in her mid-forties, approached GOP Rep. Tom Latham, he and his two staffers looked a little tense. The group was stuck at a table inside a Hy-Vee supermarket in Ankeny, Iowa with nowhere to go. No lawmaker in the midst of what could be the closest congressional election in the country likes to be ambushed by a constituent while a reporter is around.
But this interaction could not have been planned any better for the campaign.
"Excuse me, Mr. Latham," she said. "I just wanted to thank you. I was having trouble getting a passport. I went through every possible office, and your office in Ames was the only one able to help me."
She'll be voting for Latham in the election. And in a race with just 6,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, every vote will count.
As it turns out, Rhoads's vote can be considered more valuable than most. In order for Latham (or his opponent, fellow congressman, Democrat Leonard Boswell), to win, they will need to pick up independents. And while Rhoads has decided firmly to support Latham, she is still undecided when it comes to the presidential race.
"I can support Latham, but that doesn't necessarily translate to Romney," said Rhoads, who works for the Iowa Department of Human Services. "Just because they are in the same party doesn't mean they are each going to have my support."