The goal: let independents and moderates know that Gov. Chet Culver (D) is committed to fiscal discipline. Former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) entered the gubernatorial race today, and he's popular enough with Iowans to make this race one of the tightest in recent memory.  Yesterday, Culver hinted that he was going to have some candid conversations with state employee unions about the need for them to cut their pay in order to help balance the budget.

Larger implication: this is how Democratic candidates in purple states are reacting to the toxic political landscape and the concerns about the debt and the deficit.

Producer: Karl Struble