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On the Road: The Surge Behind the Scenes

Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News

The latest polls from Iowa have Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich essentially in a tie. Each candidate is within striking distance of 3rd place. And each could just a easily finish 5th.

And you can see the optimism in the Perry campaign staff. A little most jump in their step and a little more seriousness as they go about their work.

You can also see it in the number of reporters covering Governor Perry.

There's a big difference covering a campaign you know is going nowhere, and covering one that is back in the spotlight and getting additional media attention.

The first half of Perry's bus tour in Iowa had 7 core reporters traveling (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, Des Moines Register, Texas Tribune and KUT). On the 2nd leg, we've picked up the Austin American-Statesman and San Antonio Express-News.

Then there's the additional media that shows up to the campaign stops.

Reporters from several other media organizations, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and USA Today were on the road today. CNN aired Perry's stops live at least once today. And I even saw a reporter from Austin's YNN channel. Alana Rocha said she'll be in Iowa through caucus night.

And I even reported on the Perry bus tour Friday morning for NPR something that may not have happened if he had not gained in the polls.

It will be interesting to see how many more reporters climb on the bus before Perry's last Iowa campaign event Monday evening in Perry, Iowa.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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