In Iowa, It's Organization vs. Insurgency

Posted: Dec 18, 2007 9:32 AM

Most pundits now view Iowa as a race between the organized and disciplined candidate (Mitt Romney), vs. the exciting and insurgent Iowa candidate (Mike Huckabee).  While there is certainly some truth to that characterization, things aren't quite that black and white ...

For example, Mitt Romney's Iowa communications director Tim Albrecht reminds me that Huckabee isn't exactly sitting on his hands when it comes to organizing Iowa: 

“They have 12 field staffers, we only have 10 … so the idea that they are not actively working to organize has kind of been overblown.”
Still, I can't help but believe Romney's team is dramatically more sophisticated.  The question then is whether or not a well-run organization designed to drag every last Romney supporter to the polls will always out-perform an organic group of supporters who aren't as well organized, but are true-believerts who may be more inspired. 

According to one Iowa Republican insider, it's hard to predict how the Romney vs. Huckabee match-up will turn out:  “People are going to try to determine:  Will Mitt Romney’s organization make up for any kind of poll deficit out there -- and I really don’t think there’s going to be a good answer to that question."

Clearly, it's hard to assess which organization is truly superior when Huckabee's organization is sort of under-the-radar, and their turn-out mechanism really depends entirely on themselves. 

Lastly, while most pundits are focused on Romney and Huckabee, Albrecht reminds me that there are other candidates to watch: 

 “There’s a perception out there that Giuliani’s not really organizing and not really trying to turn out his people, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”