AMES, Iowa -- The scheduling of the 2008 Iowa caucuses at a time when college students are home for the holidays could affect presidential hopeful Barack Obama's fortunes.
Colleges were in session during the 2004 caucuses. Rallies were held for Howard Dean, the Democratic candidate most attractive to students.
Political observers are unsure whether the Jan. 3 date for the 2008 caucuses can help or hurt Obama, The Los Angeles Times reported. If students caucus in their hometowns, that would give the youth vote more impact than if it is locked up in college towns. But the students could simply stay home.
"It's much easier to get kids to caucus if they're on campus," said Gordon Fischer, a former state Democratic chairman who supports Obama. "But when they're spread out, students can have a lot more impact."
On the Republican side, no one candidate has broad appeal to students. Among Democrats, Edwards would probably benefit from low student turnout, the newspaper said.
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