After weeks of campaigning through the country, Herman Cain will finally return to Iowa this Tuesday for his first visit since October 22nd. Unlike many of his contenders who have toured the state extensively over the past few months, Cain has spent his time traveling to states whose primaries are further along in the GOP nominating schedule.
Cain has insisted that he is running on a “national strategy” — one that should not isolate him to Iowa and New Hampshire. And while he considers Iowa important to the process, he wants to give equal weight to all states. Cain has stuck to this unorthodox campaign, holding bus tours in states like Tennessee, Alabama, and Michigan, rather than in Iowa.
As a result, Cain has received flack from many pundits who accuse him of not running a serious campaign. Even top level staffers departed the campaign in Iowa, citing his failure to devote what they deemed as enough time to their state. On its surface, it appears that Cain’s supporters in Iowa don’t seem to mind, as he remains atop most major polls in the state. But with the surfacing of sexual harassment complaints from 1999 against the businessman, the GOP hopeful’s Iowa team has had to work extra hard to keep a positive spin on his candidacy.
Earlier this month, Cain’s Iowa state director Larry Tuel told ABC News that the recent accusations had attracted new supporters and encouraged long time supporters to donate money to the campaign. While he did acknowledge the frontrunner’s absence from the state and admitted that he wanted Cain to return to Iowa soon, he readily asserted that the Cain campaign was a different kind, based on a national strategy.
Last Friday, on his bus tour through Michigan, Cain told supporters in Traverse City, “I have the political talking heads, ‘why you in Michigan?’. Well there are a lot of good people in Michigan. And based upon the crowds we’ve had all day, I’ve got a lot of friends here in Michigan.
“Michigan is going to be a player in this upcoming primary season because of the way they have modified the schedule and changed things around. You guys are going to be a player and that’s why we wanted to spend some time here, and I wanted to have an opportunity to come and meet you, share my message and to be all over the state,” Cain said.
The campaign has not yet released a list of public events for his visit to Iowa but on his last bus tour, Cain was able to drum up sizable crowds at five events across the state in only two days.
Last month, after winning a Des Moines Register poll, Cain said, “We’re obviously very excited about that, and I think it just goes to show that even though the pundits have been criticizing me for not living in Iowa, we have been working in Iowa and it’s still paying off. So I’m excited about that but we’re still going back to Iowa and we still have a lot of work to do.”