“It’s surprising,” said one Iowa-based strategist. “He was a huge presence on the Ernst campaign and I don’t know yet if they have a committed person in Iowa, but I know it’s not for lack of looking.”

Rubio’s aides are staying tight-lipped about their Iowa strategy and cautioned that personnel announcements were coming soon, likely after Rubio’s announcement in Florida next week. Still, several other candidates have swept up staff with deep Iowa ties. Sen. Ted Cruz hired Bryan English as a senior adviser. In January, Scott Walker hired a top Ernst strategist, David Polyansky, who is also a Huckabee 2008 veteran. And then Jeb Bush snagged Dave Kochel, who also worked on the Ernst campaign, both of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns, and who is expected to eventually run Bush’s campaign.

“I’m not going to discuss our strategy in the state, other than to say that if Marco runs for president, Iowans will see a lot of him,” said one Rubio aide.

The aide added that if Rubio does run (and all signs suggest that he will) he would “run to win in Iowa.”