Gingrich trails in organizing in early-voting Iowa

November 30, 2011 - 6:26 PM
Gingrich 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks to the media at Tommy's Ham House, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, in Greenville , S.C. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich leads the 2012 pack in buzz, but in Iowa he trails his rivals in nearly every other category.

The former House speaker is working toward a remarkable comeback yet has the smallest staff and the fewest precinct-level campaign backers of the seven candidates competing in Iowa.

Gingrich, who presents himself as the idea candidate bucking conventional wisdom, is betting that those ideas more so than traditional campaign tools can help him win the leadoff caucuses where organization has been the key to turning out supporters on a cold, Midwestern winter night.

It's a gamble, but former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee turned late momentum and a shoestring budget into a victory four years ago.

Gingrich begins a two-day Iowa campaign swing Wednesday night in Council Bluffs.