John Thune and Tim Pawlenty Engaged in A Backyard Battle in Iowa?

imagePOLITICO has an interesting article up today about Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) being engaged in a backyard battle in Iowa.

While other prospects for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination are already making forays into Iowa, Sen. John Thune has taken pains not to set foot in the first-in-the-nation state at all. The last time he was in the state was early 2009, headlining a campaign event for Iowa Rep. Steve King.

Nevertheless, if he decides to run, the widespread assumption is that as the senator from neighboring South Dakota, he’ll play well there. And that’s a problem for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, another potential GOP contender from a neighboring state who’s been the most aggressive of the 2012 contenders about laying Iowa groundwork, with a systematic approach that includes hiring top Iowa-savvy GOP operatives and campaigning for state-level Republican candidates. (read the rest)

imageWhile this article makes interesting reading, the premise is nonsense.  What in Iowa Caucus history has given anybody the impression that geography gives anyone an advantage?  The only battle that would go on is that more than one candidate can claim backyard status.  Backyard status didn’t help Senator (soon-to-be-Governor) Sam Brownback (R-KS) and it certainly didn’t help former Iowa Governor, now Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack when he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008.

At least this article sighted named sources.  I will agree that there is definitely some perks to living close to the state, but none that gives a candidate an extraordinary advantage.  Iowa activists and operatives will back the candidates they like for the top spot and geography will have little to do with that.  Right now both candidates have a lot of work to do to even break into the top three according to the latest polling that has been done in Iowa.

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