Candidates lay groundwork for campaigns in Iowa

Amanda Carey Contributor
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The early stages of 2012 presidential campaigns can be seen in the early voting state of Iowa. The first presidential debate will be hosted by Fox News in South Carolina on May 5, so the clock is ticking for candidates to officially announce and campaigns to get into full swing.

Potential candidate and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is one of them. In March, Barbour told Iowans he would make an announcement by the end of April. Wednesday, an Iowa Republican insider affirmed to The Daily Caller a Barbour campaign could launch any day.

“Barbour has made extensive calls to a number of operatives over the past few weeks,” said the insider, “leading me to believe it’s only a matter of time before something is up and running here.”

When asked about a possible Barbour bid, a source close to the governor simply told TheDC “Haley has said he will make his decision on the race by the end of April.  Nothing has changed.”

“He said more than once while he was there that if he runs,” Barobur spokesperson Jim Dyke told TheDC. “He will run to win Iowa.”

Also on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich spokesperson Rick Tyler announced the hiring of three Iowa Republicans to assist with a potential presidential campaign. Iowa State House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer has volunteered to be chairwoman for Iowa for Newt Explore 2012. Two lobbyists, Craig Schoenfeld and Will Rogers have also signed on.

Even rogue candidate Donald Trump has eyes trained on Iowa. On June 10th, he’ll be headlining a GOP fundraiser in the state. But according to the Republican insider, though Trump has “made a couple of calls,” there is nothing firm in terms of committing staff to a ground-game in Iowa.

One candidate Iowans will see less of – if at all – is Jon Huntsman, who in a little over a week will be known as former Ambassador to China. Last month, TheDC learned that a Huntsman strategy would not include focusing on the state.