The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Urbandale, Iowa – In the corner of a nondescript office park hard by Interstate 80 here, campaign workers are mounting a furious effort to get out the vote for Newt Gingrich at Tuesday’s Republican caucuses and prove the recent polls wrong.
As the former House speaker drew attention for getting choked up on the campaign trail Friday, scores of volunteers from across the nation cycled through his Iowa campaign headquarters in suburban Des Moines.
Some waved Gingrich campaign signs at rush hour traffic. Others cheered the former Georgia congressman on at a campaign stop at a coffee shop in Des Moines. Many manned a phone bank, urging likely caucus-goers to support Gingrich. Among them were Gordon and Meredith Austin, who traveled from Carrollton, Ga., to work for Gingrich here. Gordon Austin said he made more than a 100 calls to voters Friday.
“I have the bruise on my ear to prove it,” said the retired surgeon, one of Gingrich’s longtime friends.
Gingrich, who recently led the pack in Iowa, has fallen dramatically in recent surveys. A new NBC News-Marist poll put him fifth with the support of 13 percent of likely caucus-goers, trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 23 percent; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, 21 percent; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 15 percent; and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 14 percent.
Gingrich, who has said he will stay in the race even if he places fourth in Iowa, drew new attention on the campaign trail Friday when he got choked up talking about his late mother. Later Friday, his campaign trumpeted an endorsement from Steve Deace, a conservative radio talk show host in Iowa.
Deace wrote on his website that Gingrich has “offered one of the most articulate defenses of marriage and the family I have ever read from a candidate. He has agreed to never sign a budget into law that includes a plug nickel for an abortion provider. He has agreed to seek personhood legislation and a stronger defense of marriage act that would limit the judicial oligarchs’ ability to legislate from the bench.”
Fueled with hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, Gingrich’s volunteers sat in makeshift booths divided by giant “Newt” signs in his Urbandale campaign office, reading from scripts as they called voters Friday. Others jokingly ad-libbed.
“If you will support Newt, I will mow your yard,” Bill Curtis, a geologist from Austin, Texas, told one voter. “Then we could go fishing.”