Is Obama's Iowa Surge for Real?

The polls are positive, and the Illinois Senator appears fired up. But winning means connecting with individual voters

Callie Shell / Aurora for TIME

U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama waits for the start of another town-hall meeting in a stairwell in Muscatine, IA at the Muscatine Center for Social Change.

The new message driving Barack Obama's resurgent campaign these days is "electability plus." He debuted the new appeal at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner earlier this month, calling for a "party that doesn't just focus on how to win but why we should." Obama referred to what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the fierce urgency of now" and argued that the U.S. faces too many challenges at home and abroad for Democrats to be satisfied with merely taking the White House away from Republicans.

Electability plus means not just getting elected but getting elected for the right reasons. It...

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