With some two dozen Republicans weighing a 2016 presidential run in the most wide open field in recent times, Iowa is buzzing with visits from candidates trying to make an early impression on Hawkeye State voters.
Being the first caucus of the 2016 election — Feb. 1, 2016 — Iowa is considered a key state by Republicans.
"The boost that you get from doing well in Iowa, that’s the rocket fuel, if you will, that takes you into New Hampshire, and then takes you on into South Carolina," former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told The Washington Post
"If you don’t do well in Iowa, I’m not going to say it takes you out of the mix, but it sure digs you a big hole."
Perry did poorly in Iowa in 2012, but told the Post he won’t let that deter him from competing there again.
The caucus is still a year away but candidates are actively stumping and canvassing the state in search of voters and campaign staff, according to the Post.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul campaigned at an Iowa State basketball game over the weekend, where he hobknobbed with influential boosters. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will address Dallas County, Iowa, Republicans on Monday night. The Post reports that Christie’s advisers consider Dallas County — one of Iowa’s fastest-growing suburbs — "a ripe political target."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are scheduled to speak at a business forum in March.
Prominent state conservatives told the Post they are receiving phone calls from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who is giving out her personal cellphone number.
The most recent Bloomberg Politics-Des Moines Register poll
shows Walker, who wowed Iowans with his performance at the recent Iowa Freedom Summit, narrowly leading the state with 15 percent (up from 4 percent in the same poll in October). Paul is close behind with 14 percent, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 10 percent. Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
Retired neurosurgeon and tea party favorite Ben Carson received 9 percent, one more percentage point than Bush, the father and son of former presidents. Christie garnered just 4 percent.
reports that competition is just as stiff for campaign staff, something political operatives have referred to as a "staff primary."
Bush has brought on David Kochel, "a veteran Iowa operative," while Walker has joined forces with the same Iowa consultant who advised freshman Sen. Joni Ernst, who won election in 2014 in a hard-fought battle.
Candidates, according to Reuters, are looking for "the right of mix of get-out-the-vote organizers, digital experts, fund-raising stars and messaging professionals able to set up a functioning campaign."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.