So much for the mystique of presidential candidates visiting those small towns and small businesses in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The most frequent visitors to the nation’s first caucus state (Iowa) and primary state (New Hampshire) didn’t find their travels translated into political strength, according to a National Journal analysis.
National Journal tracks candidates’ visits, and found that between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the most frequent visits, by far, to Iowa were Bobby Jindal, the former governor of Louisiana, and Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who won the 2012 caucus.
Jindal, said analyst Adam Wollner, spent 33 days in the state, while Santorum spent 25 and recently finished visits all 99 counties. Yet both are barely noticeable in Iowa polls, and neither qualified for next week’s main Republican debate.
Jindal was backed by 2 percent of likely Republican voters, while Santorum got 1 percent backing in a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday.
In New Hampshire, Wollner said, Lindsey Graham, the U.S. senator from South Carolina, visited 26 days while Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, showed up on 25 days. Graham also did not qualify for the big debate, and Christie has lagged in polls.
The Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, spent seven days in Iowa and five in New Hampshire.
The Democratic story was the same. Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, topped the Iowa list with 18 days. In New Hampshire, Lincoln Chafee, former governor of Rhode Island, was first with 19 days. Both are far behind front-runners Bernie Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.