Total Early State Visits For All Presidential Candidates

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:15


This is something Jerome puts up at MyDD every once and a while, but given the recent primary calendar shakeups, I thought it would be good to show again. From the Washington Post’s candidate tracker, here are the number of trips each candidate has taken to the five currently “early” (that is, pre-Super Tuesday) states:

Democratic Candidate Trips To Early States
Candidate IA NH NV SC FL
Clinton 42 30 9 16 10
Obama 68 24 9 13 8
Edwards 76 36 9 21 5
Richardson 58 57 25 17 2
Biden 55 15 6 10 2
Dodd 72 46 11 13 1
Kucinich 5 22 5 4 10
Gravel 1 6 2 3 0
Total 377 236 76 91 38

OK, Gravel is clearly not running for President, and as such it is time to cut him out of the debates. If he won’t take his own campaign seriously, it is time to stop giving him a free stage from which to talk to the country. Kucinich isn’t much better. I am impressed with the energy that Dodd (and, to a lesser extent, Biden) appears to be throwing at the campaign, even if it hasn’t produced any results yet.

Also, any notion that 2008 will be different, and that states other than Iowa and New Hampshire (though mainly Iowa) will have a major impact on the race, appears to be contradicted by the campaigns themselves. Every candidate who is running hard has made more trips to Iowa than even to New Hampshire. As such, I don’t take speculation that Iowa will allow New Hampshire to move in front of it very seriously.

Republican Candidate Trips To Early States
Candidate IA NH SC FL
Giuliani 26 24 13 14
Romney 90 44 20 22
F. Thompson 0 2 1 0
McCain 26 27 22 14
Brownback 115 4 12 2
T. Thompson 143 14 1 0
Huckabee 71 17 18 2
Paul 15 6 3 0
Tancredo 67 14 3 0
Hunter 24 15 18 2
Total 577 167 111 56

The low numbers for Giuliani really stick out. I mean, for someone without a job, Giuliani is kind of lazy, isn’t he? This is the most convincing evidence I have seen yet that Giuliani will not win the Republican nomination. He simply is not campaigning very hard, and Romney is running him into the ground. I think the real reason Giuliani opted out of the Ames straw poll this Saturday is because he knew that he would have been crushed. Even with that aside, he would have actually had to (horrors) engage in retail politics.

The Ron Paul numbers also stick out on the Republican side. Like Gravel, he is not running a serious campaign. Even if I was predisposed to Paul’s message, which I absolutely am not, simply as a matter of self-respect I could never support a candidate who did not take his or her own campaign seriously. I think I have given more than 24 out of state speeches so far in 2007. Hell, I gave five last weekend alone. What a waste of time this sideshow is.

And, obviously, the other thing that sticks out on the Republican side is what an incredible racket the Ames straw poll is. Brownback, Huckabee and Tommy Thompson have made a combined 358 trips to Iowa this year in order to convince a few thousand people to come to a barbaque with them. Their pathetic results are a combined 5.7% support among Iowa Republicans, which is less than Obama’s 6.7% support among Iowa Republicans. I don’t know how it happened, but in an odd twist of quantum mechanics the wingnut base somehow appears to have become smaller than itself.
Chris Bowers :: Total Early State Visits For All Presidential Candidates

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Ummm... (0.00 / 0)
Edwards and Romney has lived in the state of Iowa.  For Nevada, I see Richardson winning this state in its caucus.  I see, possibly, Obama winning NH.  Iowa, I think is for Edwards to loose.  SC, that state it becoming tricky.  Good job, Chris.

Fred Thompson (0.00 / 0)
Really?  Three visits TOTAL, including zero to Iowa?  I knew he was a joke, but I didn't realize he was THAT much of a joke.  Seriously, what has he been doing this whole time?

John McCain <3 lobbyists

p.s. (0.00 / 0)
It is comforting to know that our candidates actually want to win.

John McCain <3 lobbyists

[ Parent ]
Iowa (0.00 / 0)
will never let NH go before it.
I've talked about this before, but the frontloading and compressing of the calendar makes IA all the more important (which is why they'd never give up the position). For the 2nd tier candidates, finishing in the top 3 is their only shot at getting noticed. A victory for either Clinton or Obama makes them incredibly hard to stop. And it almost goes without saying that winning IA is Edwards only shot. 

Looks like it might happen. (0.00 / 0)
According to Political Wire, Carrie Giddins, Iowa Democratic party communications director, sent out an e-mail stating as follows: 

"The South Carolina Republicans won't dictate what Iowa does... The Iowa Caucuses are scheduled for January 14th, 2008 and we are moving forward with plans for that date. Iowa will hold the first in the nation caucuses."


[ Parent ]
Giuliani (4.00 / 1)
I'm not sure that it's Giuliani's laziness that's keeping him out of the early states.  I think he's planning to use his national popularity in the February 5th states (possibly using Florida as a firewall).  I, like you, think that this is probably not going to win him the nomination, and that he dropped out of Ames because he knew that it could only hurt him. 

Agreed (0.00 / 0)
Though I'm not as sure it won't win him the nomination.  If Giuliani keeps enough money to win in NY and California (and don't the Republicans take whole states in the primaries, not split them?), he'll be awfully competitive, no matter what else happens.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.

[ Parent ]
re: Agreed (0.00 / 0)
That's true, and right now he's very well positioned to win those.  Florida, too.  I'm curious to see if he can survive the bounce the winners of IA, NH and SC receive, especially if he has a poor showing.  I suppose some of it depends on how much coverage our primaries get, too.  This is all going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Didn't CA just switch to a system where delegates are won by congressional district?  I could be wrong.


[ Parent ]
re: Agreed (0.00 / 0)
Not that I know of.  I think CA was considering splitting their electoral votes (a disaster for us) but are unlikely to do so.  Maybe they're considering splitting delegates as well and I just missed it.

In terms of the bounce from IA, NH and SC, I would imagine who gets it will make a big difference.  If Brownback were to sweep the early states, for example, he probably wouldn't play very well against Giuliani in NY, CA and FL.  On the other hand, Romney also has moderate credentials, so the bounce might be more than enough for him to guarantee a win.

I'd love to see a similar chart of who's been visiting the big Feb 5th states.  It might give us some insight into their strategies.

I support John McCain because children are too healthy anyway.


[ Parent ]
Feb 5 (0.00 / 0)
I think it might have been CA Republicans, specifically.  I'll have to check later.

I agree that the winner would make a big difference.  I had assumed it would be one of the frontrunners.  If Brownback or Tancredo could somehow turn a strong showing at Ames into some momentum huge and sweep the early states then I think we would see Republican Winger/Establishment showdown.  That'd be fun to watch.  Other lower-tier candidates could emerge at Ames, but I think Brownback and Tancredo would be the only two that would be truly unpalatable to the Republican Establishment.  Well, Ron Paul would be, but that isn't going to happen.

Is it worth talking about Romney's ability to emerge on Feb. 5?  I know he talks a big game about not spending his own money, but he's proven that he's more than willing to dump his own fortune into the race.  While he doesn't poll well in most states outside of the early ones, he'd certainly have the cash  to blanket the Feb 5 states if he needed to.  He's also certainly in a position to get a bigger bounce from at least one of the early state priamries than Giuliani would.  He could probably keep competing even if suffers a serious blow in SC or FL.  Something to think about, I guess.


[ Parent ]
CA (0.00 / 0)
Two issues here.  The Republican Party of California is going to apportion its primary delegates based on who wins in each congressional district.

Republican lawyers are attempting to get an initiative on the ballot next year that would use the same system to apportion electoral college delegates in the general election.

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.


[ Parent ]
re: CA (0.00 / 0)
This is what I was thinking of.

Didn't know about the ballot initiative, though.  Any idea on what its chances to appear on the ballot? 


[ Parent ]
Hopefully poor (0.00 / 0)
since it would mean that the legislature didn't determine the manner in which electors were distributed, it's probably unconstitutional.  That sure doesn't mean that there won't be enough signatures to make it an expensive battle next year, particularly if it isn't preemptively shot down as illegal.

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.

[ Parent ]
Total visits per candidate (4.00 / 1)
Interesting to see who's working the hardest, i.e., making the most visits, i.e., who seems to have the highest total number of campaign stops. 

Clinton:  107
Obama:   122
Edwards:  147 (over half in Iowa)
Richardson:  159
Biden:  88
Dodd:   143

Giuliani:  77
Romney:  176
McCain:  89

Given the effort he's put into Iowa, if Edwards doesn't come in 1st or at least second, he's done.  Richardson seems to be spreading himself out better than most of the others, giving him perhaps the best chance to break out of the bottom tier nationally before Super Tuesday. 

Romney seems to be working harder than the other "top tier" Republican candidates.  All the other R's seem to be concentrating on trying to break through in Iowa, almost to the exclusion of any other efforts.  Given the paucity of effort in other forums on the part of the other candidates, if Romney takes Iowa, it seems difficult to see how any of the others even has a chance to catch up, at least based on the number of visits (and presumably, therefore, the size of their on-the-ground organizations in those other states). 


Fair analysis, but.... (4.00 / 1)
I don't like time-wasting candidates either, but travel costs money, so one can hardly fault Kucinich, Gravel, Paul et al for not making more trips than they can possibly afford to pay for. Giuliani is also probably just focusing on another strategy. His campaign is so based on fear-mongering rhetoric (and not any sort of real substance), that the glad-handing, townhall, retail politics just doesn't suit him that much. Maybe he's spending his time traveling around to heavy donor areas and collecting as much money as he can for well-timed major ad blitzes in these states. Not to mention the fact that it's still pretty early.

I think the stuff about Iowa's importance is dead-on.


Size Matters (0.00 / 0)
I think, too, that you can't simply count the quantity of events. According to the chart, Biden's had something like 55+ events in Iowa.

But how many of those were just dropping into a diner and doing a grip-n-greet? Kucinich had a crowd of between 500 and 1,000 at a single event in Portland, Oregon last month. I seriously doubt that all of Biden's events had that many people at each of them.

According to the Campaign Tracker, Kucinich has had 145 campaign events since the beginning of the year. Hillary Clinton had 216. Barack Obama has had 250.

Outside of the states Jerome picked for the survey, the guys Chris admires for their energy are pikers compared to Kucinich. Both Dodd and Biden have far larger war chests than Kucinich, but Dodd's made a total of 167 campaign appearances since the beginning of the year and Biden's made just 108.

My take on that would be that he's not trying to compete in the early states against the big spenders. But to say that he's not seriously campaigning when he's made half again as many appearances as Biden and nearly as many as Dodd -- and then hold them out as exemplars of energy -- is simply laughable.

Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968


[ Parent ]
Ron Paul (0.00 / 0)
didn't he outraise McCain?

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.

[ Parent ]
Yes and no (0.00 / 0)
McCain outraised Paul, but his burn rate was so high that Paul ended up with more COH.

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

[ Parent ]
Paul and Kucinich (0.00 / 0)
If Gravel was running hard, he would have a lot more money for his campaign right now. I bet he doesn't spend much time fundraising.

Paul has a few million dollars in the bank, more than many of the other Republican candidates who have made far more trips. I don't see that as an excuse for him.

Kucinich may have made trips to a number of states besides the early states, but he simply is not running as hard as he did in 2004. Back then, he raised something like $20M once the matching funds kicked in, and he hit both Iowa and New Hampshire hard, too. I don't know what he is doing this time, but holding rallies in Portland for 500 people instead of campaigning in Iowa does not strike me as a serious attempt to actually win.

[ Parent ]
Trips don't mean more than media coverage (0.00 / 0)
The media have acces to more television sets than candidates have to people in campaign events.  The media say that Clinton and Obama are the frontrunners, it creates a bandwagon effect that "trips" cannot counter.

Maybe (0.00 / 0)
but Iowa and New Hampshire in caucus/primary season is a completely different animal than anywhere else any other time.

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.

[ Parent ]
Visits or time there (0.00 / 0)
When you count visits made, I assume you mean trips into and out of the state.  Most of these are probably one day stopovers given today's jetsetting politics.

I think I would be more interested to know things like the number of days, number of speeches, and number of event attendees.

My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington- Obama
Philly for Obama


Keep Gravel. Drop the IWR supporters (0.00 / 0)
Gravel has proven cajonez.

That's worth something to me.

I wouldn't want to silence the following:
"The military industrial complex not only controls our government, lock, stock and barrel, but they control our culture." - Mike Gravel

If the talk is of candidates to be thrown out:
Start with those that have the most responsibility for the costly invasion and continued occupation of Iraq.

If you got the invasion wrong you're out.  That leaves at least 20,000,000 Americans eligible.


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