Will Romney Be Only Candidate in Iowa Poll?

Kevin Madden, a Romney spokesman, said that even if the other major candidates say Ames isn't important, connecting with Republican voters in Iowa will pay dividends for the campaign.

"It's the political equivalent of a full-body workout for Iowa," Madden said. "Any time and money and effort we put in there will garner us a return in January."

At least one rival campaign is still planning an aggressive push in Iowa. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., is traveling to Iowa Thursday through Monday, and he hopes his hard-line position on immigration gathers him wide support at the straw poll in the conservative state.

"We're going at it full-force in Ames, and we are expecting a strong showing by our supporters," said Alan Moore, a Tancredo spokesman. "We're arranging as much as we can to get our supporters there from all over the state."

The campaigns of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Ron Paul, R-Texas, did not immediately return calls seeking comment about their plans for Ames.

Woolson, Huckabee's Iowa director, said the campaign is waiting to see how the new landscape is perceived by the media before deciding how to proceed. "We're in that mode where we're evaluating all the information that we can get our hands on," he said.

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