He told the crowd Iowa was first on his schedule ‘‘because it was you, Iowa, who kept us going when the pundits were writing us off.’’
There was another reason, as well.
Polls make the state one of eight or so battlegrounds where the election is most likely to be decided. The president carried Iowa in 2008, and in an indication of the struggle he now faces, he has been lavishing time on it in recent weeks. He spent three days in August on a bus tour that traversed the state from west to east.
Following two stops in Iowa, Obama was flying to Colorado for a Sunday appearance before college students at the University of Colorado.
Obama’s schedule for Monday includes an appearance in Toledo, Ohio, yet another battleground state, before a trip to Louisiana to inspect damage from Hurricane Isaac.
Romney visited Louisiana on Friday.
Television ratings for the final night of the Republican convention were lower than four years ago. The Nielsen Co. said an estimated 30.3 million viewers watched Thursday night’s coverage of Romney’s acceptance speech. That was down by one-fourth from 2008, when John McCain spoke on the final night of the Republican gathering in St. Paul., Minn.
Feller reported from Urbandale and Sioux City, Iowa. Associated Press writers Kasie Hunt in Cincinnati, Beth Fouhy in Charlotte and Steve Peoples in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.