"I think Iowans are the down-to-earth people of the nation, the sort of salt-of-the-earth people who would do anything for you," she said. "We just have different values and different ways to look at people. We're farm communities with family values. ... It's very different than the big cities and the coasts."
"I think it's important. Any state would think it's important to have a first-in-the-nation chance to influence the election," said Mary Jane Kolars, 61, who was waiting for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to speak at the Junction City Bar and Grill in Marshalltown. "But we've made the effort to keep it."