It has been said John Edwards' bid for the Democratic presidential nomination begins (and ends) in Iowa. Edwards is trailing Hillary Clinton in every national poll by at least 30 points and Barack Obama by about a dozen points. Edwards remains competitive in Iowa in part due to the frequent visits he has made to the Hawkeye State.
According to the political website IowaPolitics.com Edwards has visited Iowa more than any other Democratic candidate—34 times from November 2004 through last week. Obama has had 25 campaign visits to Iowa with Joe Biden visiting 21 times. Clinton has received the most bang for her buck—leading in Iowa state polling, but with only just over half (19) the number of visits as Edwards. Chris Dodd also visited 19 times, followed by Bill Richardson (16) and Dennis Kucinich (3).
On the Republican side, ex-candidate Tommy Thompson, who exited the race after a disappointing Iowa Straw Poll performance in August visited Iowa 39 times. Of the current crop of active candidates, Sam Brownback has visited the most—35 times—but cannot gain any traction in the state. The recent American Research Group poll measured only 2 percent support for the Kansas Senator.
Mitt Romney, who leads in all Iowa polling, has visited Iowa 31 times, with his sons doing a county-by-county trek across the state campaigning on his behalf. Mike Huckabee (21 visits) and Tom Tancredo (19 visits) are also viewed to need strong performances in the Iowa Caucuses to continue their campaigns. On Monday Tancredo stated he would cease his bid for the Republican nomination if he did not finish in at least 3rd place in either Iowa or New Hampshire.
Rounding out the Republican field, John McCain has visited 16 times, followed by Rudy Giuliani (11), Duncan Hunter (6), Ron Paul (3) and Fred Thompson (3).