West Des Moines, Iowa – “We’re excited to be in the hunt. We’ve outperformed the expectations we had for ourselves in Iowa,” Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom says, noting the difference in the effort the Romney campaign put in the Hawkeye state this time around. Last cycle, when Romney lost to Mike Huckabee, the campaign had 52 paid staffers in Iowa. This time, there are five. It’s the same story with TV advertising ($10 million last cycle vs. “a fraction of that” this time) and time spent campaigning in the state (over 100 days vs. 15 days).
“So to be in the position that we’re in among that group of people who are at the top of the pack is very exciting for us,” Fehrnstrom adds.
Still, he doesn’t see it as necessary that Romney place in the top three today, saying the campaign has the organization ready for a long campaign if it comes to that — and is “confident” that Romney will ultimately be the nominee.