Iowa race quieter than in the past

By THOMAS BEAUMONT | December 25, 2011 | 8:51 AM EST

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., signs an autograph during a campaign stop at at Tangleberries in Centerville, Iowa, Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It's been a different presidential race in Iowa this year — a lot quieter.

Campaign headquarters have hardly been buzzing with activity, unlike the around-the-clock nature of past contests. Candidates have barely visited the state, compared with years when most all but moved to Iowa.

And they have largely refrained from building the grass-roots armies of yesteryear, in favor of more modest on-the-ground teams of paid staffers and volunteers.

The final rush of campaigning gets under way Monday, just a week before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

But that will belie the reality of much of 2011, a year marked by a less aggressive personal courtship of Iowans in a campaign that, instead, has largely gravitated around nationally televised debates, a crush of television ads, and interviews on media outlets.