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Obama To Campaign in Iowa

If the President wasn't campaigning for re-election before, he is now. President Obama's Midwest bus tour the week of August 15th takes him to Iowa.

"On August 16, the President and members of his Cabinet will host the White House Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa," the White House announced Friday.

The president's visit comes just days after the August 13 Ames Straw Poll, an important test vote for his Republican challengers. The state of Iowa has been blanketed with Republican ads and robo-calls leading up to next weekend's poll, so a visit from the Democratic contender could be a breath of fresh air for Iowans.

The president will take the opportunity to hear from Iowans through his rural economic forum. "The Forum will bring together small business owners, private sector leaders, rural organizations and government officials to discuss ideas and initiatives to promote economic growth, accelerate hiring, and spur innovation in rural communities and small towns across the nation," the White House writes.

While Obama won't have a caucus challenger in 2012, Iowa is an important swing state. He carried the general election there easily in 2008 after winning the early caucus. Meanwhile, the state has received lots of attention for the republican nomination.

Fox News will host a debate of GOP challengers in the Hawkeye State August 11th, less than six months before the Republican caucus. Some of the candidates may linger that week to attend the Iowa State Fair, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, August 21. The president's full bus tour schedule has yet to be revealed; It's unclear if he'll make the trip to Des Moines to enjoy a veggie corn dog at the fair.