All the news today seemed to be about the Santorum surge lately and it seems like a great anomaly to me. There is no way he will be able to run much of a campaign beyond Iowa due to his lack of money, even if he comes in second or third place in the caucus. However, Jun and many others in the Paul campaign rightly see this as a potential threat thanks to many Huckabee supporters who are well organized now carrying the Santorum banner. Thus, a negative robo-call campaign against Santorum was quickly organized to run today and tomorrow in an attempt to deflate his sudden rise in the Iowa polls.
This morning I met two young men and their mom who were other supporters staying at my hotel who had driven up from Kentucky the night before. Together we headed to the Johnson County campaign office to get brought up to speed about what needed to be done. However, to get our blood flowing, one of the county coordinators decided it would be great to have a sign bomb down at the intersection and didn’t want to stop until we got 15 honks. Thus, about 10 volunteers took Ron Paul banners and signs out to the streets in 22 degree weather with a wind chill making it feel like 4 degrees according to my AccuWeather. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the wind, and after about 20-30 minutes we all couldn’t feel our faces and our fingers started to feel that icy pain that’s a precursor to frostbite. There’s nothing like suffering for a cause!
Once we defrosted in the campaign office, I took off with Jun to drive an hour east to Davenport and help do some outreach at the Ron Paul / Rand Paul wistle-stop tour at 1 PM. It ended up being a great turnout, with about 200 people showing up to the event including dozens of reporters and a CNN news van. After Ron and Rand spoke, we helped coral all the locals who were planning on caucusing tomorrow into a training session organized by the Story County Ron Paul coordinators. If all the counties across Iowa are as organized as Story County, Ron Paul is going to have an easy wins hands down but I don’t think we can assume anything.
After a quick bite to eat for lunch, Jun and I met up at the campaign office in Davenport to print some phone-banking lists and then went over to The Lodge hotel in Bettendorf. Here we met up with Zachariah, the coordinator for Illinois volunteers, as well as many other out of state volunteers staying at he hotel. By utilizing the multitude of volunteers, we were able to split up the list of likely stump speakers from our rp2012 database and follow up with them with calls to make sure they were ready for the caucus tomorrow. Almost everyone who I talked to on my phone list was super prepared and positive about participating in the caucus and this gave me a lot of hope. It was amazing to see how enthusiastic all the out of state volunteers were about supporting Ron Paul, and I think they are going to make a big difference tomorrow.