Rick Perry has a reputation as a campaigner in Texas: He’s dangerous, but even more dangerous when he’s down. The next three weeks in Iowa will present him with the ultimate underdog challenge as he undertakes a last-ditch, massive effort to save his presidential bid.
Wednesday marks the beginning of a 14-day, 42-city bus tour that will see the Texas governor traverse the Hawkeye State, logging more than 1,000 miles as he strives to regain his standing among the top tier of candidates for the GOP nomination. …
His Iowa tour will begin in Council Bluffs, on the western edge of the state, and run in a semicircle across the northern half of Iowa heading east. After a leisurely break for Christmas — Perry has no events planned from the afternoon of the 22nd until the morning of the 27th — the tour will resume with a swing through the southern part of the state and snake back around to the center. Most days follow a pattern: two to four “meet-and-greets,” often at local restaurants or coffee shops, followed by a town hall meeting in the afternoon.
As he travels through the state, Perry will seek to build a coalition of evangelical and tea party voters, often attempting to pick off supporters from his rivals. He’s shown as much in the ads he’s run in the state targeting those specific groups. His fight for the Christian right, a key voting bloc during the Iowa caucuses, will put him in competition against Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
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