Texas political observers say their Gov. Rick Perry has a reputation as a dangerous campaigner, even more so when he’s behind.
If that’s the case, Perry will be a dangerous man when he visits northeast Iowa today in search of support in the Jan. 3 first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses.
It will be Day 5 of a 14-day, 42-city bus tour of the state.
And he’s not alone. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is on his heels. She’ll be making a bus-stop tour of northeast Iowa Tuesday and come Friday, Texas Rep. Ron Paul will be touring the northeast Iowa countryside looking for caucus supporters.
All three are hoping to be among the top three finishers on caucus night. At the moment, that seems more likely for Paul who is in double digits in most campaign polls. For Perry and Bachmann, the stakes are higher and the odds of a top tier finish appear longer. They’re polling in single digits despite the fact both Perry and Bachmann have been atop the field at one point or another since summer.
In many ways, Bachmann and Perry are fighting for the same caucusgoers – evangelical Christians and tea party activists. He’s playing up his outsider status in hopes of attracting GOP and GOP-leaning independents who don’t like the current Washington gridlock.
Already Perry seems to be lower expectations for a top tier finish in Iowa. Campaigning in Sioux City, the pride of Paint Creek told ABC News that a fourth place finish won’t be the end of the road for him
Perry promised to continue campaigning in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida even if he doesn’t nab one of the proverbial three tickets out of Iowa.
While his campaign would get a real boost from winning in Iowa, Perry said it’s not necessary.
One thing that distinguishes the Perry campaign from Bachmann’s or social conservative Rick Perry’s is that he apparently has the funds to continue his campaign beyond Iowa even he finishes out of the top three.
Many observers believe South Carolina is friendlier territory for Perry. There Perry can appeal to voters, who like himself, are evangelical Christians and veterans.
Perry seems to be enjoying Iowa retail politics. Iowa caucusgoers, he said, just want to get a close look at the candidates before making a choice.
“They want to touch you feel you and sniff ya,” he said.
Tuesday, he’ll be bringing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with him. Jindal, who had been considered a rising star in the GOP, fueled speculation that he might be a 2012 candidate when he made a November 2008 visit to Cedar Rapids to talk about flood recovery.
Announcement coming: There’s still time to get signed up for an announcement from the Obama for America/Iowa campaign later this morning.
Without the excitement of a race for the Democratic nomination to get the party loyalists fired up, the Obama campaign has been busy manufacturing that excitement.
The campaign is invited Iowans to test “IA” to 62262 “to be the first to hear the big news we’re announcing” about the caucuses.
The announcement is supposed to be made at 9 a.m.
On the calendar:
Rick Perry, 10:15 a.m., Johnson’s Restaurant, Elkader; noon, Pizza Ranch, Manchester; 4:30 p.m., Country Junction, Dyersville; 6 p.m., MannaJava World Café, Dubuque
Rick Santorum, 7:30 a.m., Windrow Restaurant, Creston; noon, Redman’s Steak House, Osceola; 6 p.m., Indianola Christian Church, Indianola
Newt Gingrich, 2:30 p.m., Global Security Services, Davenport; 7 p.m., Level 10 Apparel, 820 N. 20th Ave., Hiawatha
Michele Bachmann, 9 a.m., Merry Bee’s, Hampton; 9:50 a.m., Princess Grill, Iowa Falls; 11 a.m., Grundy Center High School; noon, Lil’ Ricky’s Steakhouse, Allison; 1:10 p.m. Pizza Ranch, Charles City; 2 p.m., Fox River Mills, Osage; 3:30 p.m., Cresco Bank & Trust; 4:30 p.m., Dragonfly Books, Decorah; 5:50 p.m., Klunder’s Kafe, New Hampton; 7 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Waverly
Michele Bachmann, 9:30 a.m. Falcon Civic Center, Independence; 11 a.m. Victories Restaurant, Fayette; noon, YMCA, Postville; 1:30 p.m., Franklin Hotel, Strawberry Point; 2:30 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Manchester; 4 p.m., MannaJava, Dubuque; Flapjack’s Family Restaurant, Maquoketa; 6:20 p.m., DeWitt Community Center; 7:30 p.m., Christmas party, 3195 Westminster Rd., Bettendorf
Rick Perry, 11:45 a.m., Hotel Decker, Maquoketa; 1:30 p.m.; Main Street Walk, DeWitt; 3:30 p.m., Candlelight Inn, Clinton; 5:30 p.m., Figge Art Museum, Davenport
Newt Gingrich, 10 a.m., Hy-Vee, Mount Pleasant; 1 p.m., Al Jon Company, Ottumwa; 4:15 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee House, Oskaloosa; 6 p.m., TBA, Knoxville
Rick Santorum, 9 a.m., Monarch Restaurant, Royal Amsterdam Hotel, Pella; 12:30 p.m., Mount Pleasant Public Library; 4 p.m., health care forum, Genesis Medical Center, Davenport; 6 p.m. house party with 2nd District GOP congressional hopeful John Archer, Bettendorf
Ron Paul, 10 a.m., Comfort Inn & Suites, Fort Madison; noon, Civic Center, Mount Pleasant; 3 p.ml., Washington Public Library, Washington; 7 p.m., Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf
Newt Gingrich, Des Moines
Rick Perry, noon, Port City Underground, Muscatine; 1:30 p.m., Button Factory, Muscatine; 4:15 p.m. De Brito Baking Bistro, Mount Pleasant
Rick Perry, 9 a.m., Drake on the Waterfront, Burlington; noon, Kuhly’s Bar & Grill, Ottumwa; 3 p.m., TPI, Newton
Ron Paul, noon, Grand River Center, Dubuque, 3 p.m., Delaware County Fairgrounds, Manchester; 7 p.m., Hotel Kirkwood, Cedar Rapids
Rick Perry, 10:45 a.m., Main Street Café, Council Bluffs; 1:15 p.m., Glenn Miller Museum, Clarinda; 3:30 p.m., Adams Street Espresso, Creston; 5 :30 p.m., Clarke County REC, Osceola
Newt Gingrich, Iowa
Rick Perry, 7 a.m., Westside Conservative Club, Machine Shed Restaurant, Urbandale; 1:30 p.m., The Sports Page, Indianola; 3:30 p.m. Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Pella; 5 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Oskaloosa
Rick Perry, 10 a.m., Coffee Corner, Washington; 12:30 p.m., Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids; 5:30 p.m., Fisher Community Center Auditorium, Marshalltown
Rick Perry, noon, Doughy Joey’s, 300 W. 4th St, Waterloo; 2:45 p.m., Fainting Goat, Waverly; 5:30 p.m., Cerro Gordo County GOP fundraiser, Mason City County Club
Rick Perry, 10:30 a.m., Bloomers at Central Coffee Shop, Fort Dodge; 12:45 p.m., Dutch Oven Bakery, Boone
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