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Cross-posted at One Million Strong, MyDD and The Populista Report

Barack Obama has been gaining in the past few days. He did everything from releasing a comprehensive education plan yesterday which I wrote about and teacherken weighed in on today to launching a Digg channel. Recently a poll showed him in the lead in Iowa. Today the momentum for change kept on building. He was endorsed by eleven Lee County, Iowa leaders. More on the endorsements and what they mean below the fold.

Obama today picked up the support of ten Lee County, Iowa leaders. They are:

Mayor of Ft. Madison - Steve Ireland
Mayor of Donnellson - William Young
Lee County Supervisor - Ernie Schiller
Ft. Madison Councilman - Chris Greenwald
Ft. Madison Councilman - Neal Boeding
Ft. Madison Councilman - Kevin Rink
Keokuk Councilman - Justin Tuck
Lee County Sheriff - Buck Jones
Lee County Attorney - Mike Short
Ft. Madison School Board member - Mouhiddine Nabulsi

Also, former Lee County Chair for John Edwards, Ernie Schiller, endorsed Senator Obama today. Schiller will now serve as the Lee County for Obama Chairman. These local endorsements I think are more important then larger statewide endorsements. As they say "all politics is local" and that is true in Iowa more then anywhere else. Having you're neighbor support someone will make you more likely to vote for someone then Washington pol who you don't know and never will. None of these people are hugely known statewide officers but I would imagine they are respected leaders in their community. Lets put it this way, what's more likely to make a undecided voter sway one way or another, their friendly neighbor or Jack Abramoff? I think you can guess the answer. Obama is gaining in the Iowa polls but it can't get to his head. This is going to be a close, close race. I bet the top three will all finish within a few percentage points of each other and a few caucus goers could change the whole game.

Here's what Mayor Ireland had to say about Obama:

"Iowans are ready for a president who will stand up to special interests and fight for the interests of working families, Senator Obama is a leader who will challenge the conventional thinking in Washington D.C. and reclaim the American Dream on behalf of families across the country. Barack Obama's vision for transforming our politics and our country is exactly what America has been waiting for."

And here's what Senator Obama had to say in response to the new endorsements:

"I see in Lee County what I see across the nation: Americans are ready to come together and change our nation, I'm proud to have the support of these Lee County leaders who will play a vital role in our grassroots campaign to bring our country together and tackle the tough challenges we face."

There is still a lot of work to be done to win Iowa and it will be a close race but Obama is on the right track to win. In his Illinois campaign he didn't worry much about early poll numbers, he didn't worry about facing tough opponents. He focused on the issues and ran a strong grassroots campaign and surged in the last few weeks. That's exactly what he's doing in Iowa and he might just be able to win.

42 days 'till change.

UPDATE1:
The wonderful desmoinesdem provided some great information about Lee County.

It's at the southeastern tip of Iowa, next to Illinois.

It will assign 34 state delegates (out of 2,500 total)

2004 results in the county: Edwards 29.4 percent, Dean 25 percent, Gephardt 25 percent, Kerry 20 percent. I think this is the only county in Iowa where Kerry finished fourth.

Obama and Clinton have field offices in Fort Madison. The other campaigns cover this area out of their Burlington offices (Burlington is in Des Moines county, just to the north of Lee County).

Sounds winnable to me!

Originally posted to Populista on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 08:18 PM PST.

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