There’s lots of talk in election season about a ratio of dollars-to-votes; how many votes can be won by heavy spending. But particularly in the primaries, in states like New Hampshire and Iowa which are used to meeting and vetting the candidates, there’s another metric: time. Some argue that traditional retail campaigning has been replaced by TV ad buys, but shaking hands has to count for something, right?
Jon Huntsman thought so. He skipped Iowa and focused on wooing New Hampshire voters the old-fashioned way. In the last few months, the former ambassador and ex-Utah governor spent more time in the state than any other candidate, holding twice as many events as Ron Paul, and more than twice the number of Mitt Romney.
TPM tallied the campaign events held by each of the candidates from Labor Day 2011 to the New Hampshire primary on January 10, 2012. Clearly, the amount of time spent on the ground did not predict the winner.
A caveat: as Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman have been quick to point out, Romney had a bit of a home-court advantage in this state. He governed in a neighboring state, has a home in New Hampshire, and did the whole meet-and-greet thing in 2008. Similarly, Ron Paul had a head start from his run in 2008.
Chart created by Clayton Ashley.
Data from Politico.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.