Romney's covert Iowa campaign

But his top advisers insist that Mr. Romney has not given up on Iowa and is running what amounts to a covert campaign, quietly organizing his supporters in the state and keeping open the option of making a serious run at winning the Iowa caucuses next year.

With a small paid staff, Mr. Romney is mostly relying on volunteers to maintain the important relationships with former supporters, activists, state lawmakers and other important Republicans…

“The thing that’s up for grabs is how much residual support does Mitt Romney still have from four years ago,” said Bob Vander Plaats, a former Republican candidate for governor in Iowa and one of the state’s social conservative leaders. “There’s still quite a bit out here if you talk to people.”