Devoted volunteers building foundation for Palin in Iowa

Despite Palin’s lack of a readily apparent game plan, Singleton and McCormick profess confidence that she has a strategy for winning the Republican nomination, even if it is not always clear what it is. Neither has actually ever met Palin, and in Pella last Tuesday, they appeared more eager to chat with influential Iowans and everyday caucus-goers than to get a glimpse of the star of the show.

“We’re not experienced political operatives, although we’re certainly getting experience,” Singleton told me. “There are things you can’t do if you don’t have a campaign. We see the other candidates, and they have money and structure. So we’re not trying to be a campaign — we’re not authorized to be one — but what we can do, we’re doing quite well. We’re developing really substantive relationships across the state.”…

Singleton and McCormick may be the chief out-of-state amateur operatives in Iowa on Palin’s behalf, but they are not alone. Their efforts are bolstered by a substantial network of state residents whom they have signed up to help in their endeavors. No one would reveal just how many Organize4Palin volunteers are on the ground in Iowa, but several sources told RCP that the group has had a presence in the vast majority of the state’s 99 counties…

The palpable dismissiveness that many top state Republicans have developed toward the idea of a Palin candidacy is evident, even when it is masked by a heavy dose of Iowa niceness. But conversations with some of the less-familiar faces involved in the run-up to the 2012 caucuses produce a more favorable picture of Palin’s level of support here — and the outline of how it might expand exponentially if she were to enter the race.

“When Sarah Palin’s name comes up, one of the reactions from Republicans here is she has too many negatives and can’t win, but I think that’s just talking points that they like to regurgitate,” says Iowa Rep. Walt Rogers, who says that he would support Palin if she were to run. “I like her because I think she has character, wisdom, vision and courage. All those things make a good leader to me. I think she would change the whole paradigm of the race.”