Common Sense Takes Iowa?

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jan 03, 2008 10:09 AM

I had a chance to interview Patrick Davis, the executive director of Common Sense Issues, a 501 (c)(4) that has launched a major effort designed to identify Mike Huckabee supporters in Iowa, and turn them out tonight.

But the party may just be getting started ...  According to Davis, a Huckabee victory today would probably mean that his group would stay active in favor of Huckabee:

"... we have thoughts about taking this to New Hampshire, South Carolina, to Michigan ... and just keeping out eye on the prize, which is February 5th."

Davis, who previously served as political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (where I first met him) spoke to the incestuous nature of political campaigns, telling me:

"I've worked with probaby every operative that's working in these presidential campaigns over the years.   I think we all grew up and had similar experiences, so we would know what each other is expected to do."

A Mid-Westerner, himself, Davis tells me his background has made working in Iowa easier:

Growing up in South Dakota makes a big difference in how we approach the people of Iowa, and the tone we take in our massaging in our phone scripts and our massaging in our television ads.  And the idea that ethanol or Ag. subsidies might be abhorrent to some Republicans and economic conservatives around the country -- and maybe it's hard for some people to understand why that's so important to Iowa, but it is important to Iowa.  It's part of what they build their economy on.

Davis tells me that Common Sense's latest TV ad was supposed to be pulled on January first, but that an influx of donors has allowed them to stay up through today.  Common Sense has also worked to organize homeschoolers, college students, and other volunteers to work phone banks for Huckabee.

Because of Mitt Romney's superior organization, Huckabee benefits tremendously by having supporters who organized themselves, such as church members -- as well as groups like Common Sense -- support him, even as he denounces their involvement as an "outside group."

Should Huckabee win tonight, some of the credit will belong to Davis and his group.