Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2012, 8:43 am

Paul Ryan plans stops in eastern Iowa next week

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is scheduled to visit eastern Iowa next week, trying to boost the GOP ticket's support along the pivotal Mississippi River corridor.

The Wisconsin congressman plans to headline a rally Monday evening at Loras College in Dubuque, making what will be his fifth trip to Iowa since being named GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's running mate in August.

Ryan is also expected to campaign Tuesday in southeast Iowa, making stops in Clinton, the Davenport area and Muscatine.

Ryan has family connections to Dubuque and Clinton. Parts of southeast Iowa also have seen manufacturing suffer, and the area is home to working-class voters who have been a key demographic for the Romney campaign.

Romney leads among white voters without college degrees, according to national polls. Ryan, from blue-collar Janesville, Wis., has appeal among these voters, who also populate swing areas of other battleground states Ohio and Virginia.

Vice President Joe Biden campaigned for the Democratic ticket in southeast Iowa last week, and he has been a common surrogate for President Barack Obama in working-class regions of swing states.

Iowa, Ohio and Virginia have been among seven key target states in the presidential campaign, along with Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada.

In Iowa alone, the two presidential campaigns and groups that support have spent more than $50 million on television advertising.

Romney has visited Iowa six times since locking up the GOP nomination last spring. Obama, who carried the state in 2008, has been here eight times, including on a three-day trip across the state.

After polls showed the race for Iowa's six Electoral College votes competitive throughout the summer, recent polls have indicated Obama has a lead in the state.