Paul Entices College Supporters Not to Skip Town for the Holidays

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 19, 2007 1:14pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: With the explosion of his moneybomb and his flush campaign coffers, Texas Republican Ron Paul, who is mounting a spirited libertarian-flavored run for the Republican nomination, is trying to ramp up his ground game in Iowa, which caucuses on January 3rd.

Unfortunately for Paul, who seems to be more popular than most Republicans on college campuses, the caucus is smack dab in the middle of winter break.

In order to entice potential Paul supporters who are enrolled in school in Iowa, but don’t live there normally, to stay in the icy state, the campaign is putting some of that $6 million plus dollars they raised over the weekend into the hands of the college students who have helped give Paul so much buzz on the Internet.

According to campaign spokesman Jesse Benton, college students are bing given a debit card by the campaign with a $40 per day perdiem (for meals) and are being encouraged to stay in cabins at a camp ground outside Des Moines.

"Because the students are all volunteers and pay for their own travel, it is relatively cheep. About $70,000," Benton said.

Keeping the students in town is only one aspect of the Paul game plan in these waning weeks of the Iowa primary campaign. Just paying for the room and board and giving them a meal stipend.

Students who go to school in Iowa, but are not from there are allowed to caucus under Iowa law.

"We are really ramping up our ground game," Benton said. "We are hiring between 50 and 100 county field coordinators. They are paid and they are on an incentive system. If they do well, we’ll give them some extra cash."

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