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On the Road: Wrapping Up the Bus Tour

Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News

Today ends the Rick Perry Faith, Jobs and Freedom bus tour.

Well, mostly...

This was supposed to be the end, but the campaign added a final day, January 2nd, to the tour. That final blitz will see the governor finally visit Perry, Iowa, A town the Texas Tribune's Emily Ramshaw and I visited on our own back in September while following Perry on the campaign trail.

Most of the reporters on the bus are ready for this to be over. Even though it won't really be over. It will just be the end of the Iowa caucuses. Pundits believe a 3rd or close 4th place finish here will propel Perry on to South Carolina where his southern roots, tea party campaign message and momentum coming out of Iowa could give him a shot at finishing well there.

New Hampshire? Not so much. Polls have Perry in last place there, and anything short of winning Iowa probably won't change the outcome there. So instead it looks like he'll hit South Carolina. He's not doing great there either, currently 5th. But momentum from a strong finish in Iowa, especially if Newt Gingrich continues his Iowa backslide in South Carolina, could put Perry right back in the race.

So what does all this mean to a reporter following Perry? It means I need to be ready to cancel my plane ticket/hotel reservation/car rental to New Hampshire and book a new flight to South Carolina once we get the results of the Iowa caucuses.

The joys of being your own travel agent.

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