Monday, December 31, 2007

Crunch time in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Like other presidential candidates, Democrat John Edwards of North Carolina has mobilized a small army in the run-up to Thursday's caucuses.

Spokesman Dan Leistikow said the campaign is trying to reach voters in every precinct in each of the state's 99 counties. There are more than 1,000 canvassers and 51 phone banks manned by hundreds of volunteers.

The campaign has 25 field offices, 15 more than in 2004. It has more than 175 paid Iowa staff compared to about 100 four years ago.

Edwards himself has spent 87 days in the state, slightly more than Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York. He's stumped in every county, far more, according to the campaign, than his top rivals.

Edwards' campaign also has a small fleet of all-terrain vehicles ready to get its supporters to the caucuses.

Said spokeswoman Colleen Murray: "In the end it doesn't matter unless you get people out to caucus for you."

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