Inserting his voice into a big night for Republicans, President Obama was appealing to Iowa Democrats Tuesday on the first balloting in the GOP presidential campaign, seeking to counter months of withering criticism in the state that launched his presidential ambitions four years ago.

Obama was hosting a live video teleconference for Democrats attending precinct caucuses across Iowa, outlining his progress during the first term and asking for their help in the upcoming campaign. Beyond the lead-off caucuses, Iowa is expected to be hotly contested in the fall election.