Alissa Rubin visits a province that was formerly loyal to cleric Moktada al-Sadr:

The young men here are optimistic and most striking, say they are thinking seriously about voting for the Dawa party led by Mr. Maliki. The elections on Saturday will bring a new provincial council to power, the rough equivalent of a state legislature in the United States . The young men say he brought security and jobs. People hope that if his party gains power, he will bring more of both...Their enthusiasm is all the more surprising because this neighborhood was loyal to anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr, whose militia Mr. Maliki strove to defang.

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