Thursday, January 3, 2008

Interesting perspective from Iowa - Tomorrow the primaries begin

Interesting perspective from Iowa. - Allan

Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee on the block
by Jason George

DES MOINES – It's a tale of two HQs.

In one corner – literally, the corner of 6th and Locust streets – you have the downtown headquarters of Gov. Mike Huckabee, the Republican frontrunner who leads here in Iowa, according to nearly every recent poll. Next door, you have the HQ of Rep. Ron Paul, who lags in those same polls, usually in 4th or 5th place.

Based on those rankings, you might guess that Huckabee's main Iowa office space and Des Moines presence would dwarf that of Paul's, but you'd be wrong. In fact, it's Paul's place that continues to grow and spread, looking for more space and larger areas to accommodate the waves of volunteers that arrive daily.

Huckabee's operation, in contrast, works out of an area a fourth the size of Paul's, with only a fraction of people as well. Also, while Paul's camp has a 15-person phone bank operating 12 hours a day, Huckabee's office has trouble even answering their phones. On more than one occasion recently this reporter has called Huckabee HQ only to find the telephone line -- the main line that a prospective voter or volunteer could call -- picked up by voicemail or not answered at all.

So what does it all mean?

It all goes to organization and ground game, which Huckabee has struggled with for months, while Paul seems to be build a bit each and everyday.

Does it mean that Paul can beat Huckabee?

Probably not, if you believe the polls, but walking down 6th Street surely gives one pause.

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