Over the last two weeks, John McCain has been working the trail harder than any other Republican candidate, spending 12 of 14 days out in the field. McCain’s Most Excellent Tour included 4 days in Iowa (a total of 11 different stops), 3 days in New Hampshire (8 stops), 4 days in South Carolina (12 stops), and 1 day in Michigan (1 stop). Conversely, Ron Paul’s schedule can only suggest he is being severely mishandled, or he is not a serious candidate. Getting nominated only comes from winning delegates, which only comes from being active on the trail. Paul’s schedule has only officially had 5 of the last 14 days booked, with 3 days (total of 6 stops) in South Carolina, and one day each in Pennsylvania and Illinois (huh?). Now I know that a candidate may be doing very important stuff on the days they’re not schedule for an official stop–private stops, fundraising, mainstream media–but there’s only 2 months left… Paul’s best chance at a high-place finish early on is in New Hampshire, yet he has not been there since September 29! (Data comes from Slate’s “Map the Candidates“.)
Rudy Giuliani–while being very busy with only 3 unscheduled days–gets the award for most travel miles, and perhaps the award for the most unfocused schedule: 2 days in Iowa and New Hampshire, and 1 day each in South Carolina, DC, California, Missouri, New Jersey, Colorado, and Nevada. Mitt Romney had 10 of 14 days scheduled, with 3 days each in Iowa and New Hampshire, 2 days in South Carolina, and 1 day in Florida and Michigan. Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee both had 7 of the 14 days scheduled. Huckabee had 2 days in IA and HN, 1 in SC, and 2 in Texas, while Thompson had 2 days in IA and SC, 1 in NH, 1 in DC, and 1 in Nevada.
So kudos to McCain for working it. Romney, who has been probably working it hardest over the entire campaign, had a busy and balanced 2 weeks. Thompson and Huckabee, right idea but you may want to step up the activity level. Giuliani–what’s your strategy? It’s not clear to me what they think they need to do in IA, NH, and SC. Ron Paul–why wouldn’t you want to spend every waking moment of every day in New Hampshire?