DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s caucus eve. Do you know where your candidates are?
How the GOP hopefuls choose to spend their time on the trail speaks volumes about the various constituencies that they’re trying to court, and that’s especially true of the mad dash leading up to Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation nominating contest.
On Sunday, the top-tier candidates had sharply contrasting days on the trail. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) held events in Council Bluffs and Atlantic, Iowa.
The former sits in Pottawattamie County, which was Romney Country in the 2008 GOP caucuses; the former Massachusetts governor took 33 percent there to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s (R) 22 percent. The latter is in Cass County, which Romney lost to Huckabee by six points in 2008.
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum (R), meanwhile, spent Sunday in the northwest corner of the Hawkeye State — a social conservative stronghold that went for Huckabee by a wide margin in 2008. (Indeed, the four northwestern counties of Iowa are among the 20 where Romney placed third in the caucuses four years ago.)
And then there’s Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who disappeared from the campaign trail over the weekend in order to celebrate New Year’s in Texas. (It’s no coincidence that Paul’s absence came as the candidate had come under withering criticism over several issues in recent days, including his foreign policy stance and controversial newsletters penned in his name.)
Today, six of the seven GOP hopefuls are campaigning in Iowa. (Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who has all but written off the Hawkeye State, holds two events in New Hampshire.)
Below is a look at the candidates’ day ahead on the trail, in order from greatest number of campaign events to fewest.
Rick Santorum: The former Pennsylvania senator holds five events today, mostly in central Iowa. He hits the towns of Polk, Perry, Boone, Newton and Altoona.
Ron Paul: The Texas congressman also holds five events today. He starts in central Iowa, then works his way to the easternmost part of the state, followed by a final campaign leg up north. His events are in Des Moines, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls and Mason City.
Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor holds four events. He starts from the east and then works his way westward, finishing up in Des Moines. The cities he hits along the way are Davenport, Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.
Newt Gingrich: Four events are on the former House speaker’s schedule today, all focused in eastern Iowa and away from Des Moines. Gingrich hits up Independence and Walford and holds two separate events in Davenport.
Rick Perry: The former Texas governor has a lighter schedule than some of the other hopefuls today. He holds three events, starting from Sioux City in the northwest (at the same venue where Romney and Paul have held events in recent days), then swings down east to Carroll and finishes up in a city that bears his name, Perry.
Michele Bachmann: The Minnesota congresswoman has only two events on her schedule today, both within a few miles of each other in the Des Moines area. She holds an event in West Des Moines and another in Urbandale.
A more detailed look at today on the trail (courtesy of the PBS NewsHour Political Calendar and campaign advisories; all times Eastern):
10 a.m.: Newt Gingrich holds a campaign event at Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, Iowa.
11 a.m.: Rick Santorum holds a meet-and-greet at the the Reising Sun Cafe in Polk, Iowa.
11 a.m.: Jon Huntsman holds a campaign event in Nashua, N.H.
12:15 p.m.: Ron Paul makes a campaign stop at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown.
12:30 p.m.: Rick Santorum holds a meet-and-greet at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.
12:50 p.m.: Mitt Romney holds a campaign event in Dubuque, Iowa.
1 p.m.: Newt Gingrich holds a town hall at Schrader Excavating and Grading in Walford, Iowa.
1:30 p.m.: Rick Perry holds a meet-and-greet at the Stoney Creek Inn in Sioux City, Iowa.
2 p.m.: Ron Paul makes a campaign stop at the Steeplegate Inn in Davenport, Iowa.
2 p.m.: Michele Bachmann meets with voters at Paula’s Restaurant in West Des Moines, Iowa.
3 p.m.: Rick Santorum holds a meet-and-greet with supporters at the Pizza Ranch in Boone, Iowa.
3:30 p.m.: Ron Paul holds a campaign event at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
5 p.m.: Rick Santorum holds a campaign event at the Pizza Ranch in Newton, Iowa.
5 p.m.: Rick Perry holds a meet-and-greet at the Santa Maria Vineyard in Carroll, Iowa.
5 p.m.: Ron Paul makes a campaign stop at the Park Place (PIPAC) Event Centre in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
5:15 p.m.: Mitt Romney holds a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
6:30 p.m.: Newt Gingrich makes a visit to his Davenport, Iowa, campaign office.
6:30 p.m.: Ron Paul makes a campaign stop at Prime N Wine in Mason City, Iowa.
7 p.m.: Rick Santorum holds a meet-and-greet at the Pizza Ranch in Altoona, Iowa.
7 p.m.: Jon Huntsman holds a town hall in Dover, New Hampshire.
7:30 p.m.: Rick Perry holds a campaign rally at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.
9 p.m.: Newt Gingrich holds a campaign event at Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport, Iowa.
9 p.m.: Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum appear on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”
9 p.m.: Michele Bachmann holds a campaign event in Urbandale, Iowa.
9:30 p.m.: Mitt Romney holds a rally in Des Moines.