Former Missouri Senator Jim Talent is in Iowa for Romney.
Q: Senator, I hope you’ll take this the right way: What does a senator from Missouri know about winning in Iowa?
Talent: (laughing) Well, it is a heartland state, and there are similarities in some areas – agricultural issues, and they’re both manufacturing states. But I’m not here for my expertise really here to support Mitt Romney. The other day, before the turn of the year, I was traveling with him and introducing him. Today I’ve been mostly doing press calls, and talking to campaign offices.
Mostly we’ve been doing events in coffee shops… People notice he’s coming in usually he’s been taking questions we’re doing less of this trying to get him to as many stops as possible… The advantage of going to smaller towns, in my experience, is that people like to see you and know you. The turnout is usually greater in rural areas than urban areas. In my own campaigning, we found it was easier to get people out in small towns – it’s a bigger deal that you’re there.
On the atmosphere in Iowa: “Nonstop cavalcade” is right. You might think they would resent this, or see it as an intrusion on their lives. They recognize this is something unique for their particular state. Even people not as active politically don’t resent it – or at least that’s what I’ve heard in conversations with desk clerks, waiters, waitresses and the like.
“Everybody’s going on adrenalin now, and I think everybody will be ready for it to be over. I don’t think there will be a lot of people unhappy on Friday morning – or, they may be unhappy with the results, but they won’t be unhappy that it’s over. I think everybody will switch to New Hampshire and it will be a very vigorous race there, too.”
On Romney’s top rival: “When I was on the stump before New Year’s, I did hear from several people who said they have friends who are less certain in their support of Huckabee than they were several weeks before. People asking questions about his record and electability.”