Paul Looks for Payoff From Iowa Support Network

Polls show Paul narrowly trailing Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul appears to be well organized for New Hampshire next week.

    Ron Paul is hopeful that the more structured organization of Iowa supporters he has built in his second bid for the Republican nomination will turn out big in the state's leadoff presidential caucuses.

    "We, the people, are growing and I'm optimistic," Paul told an audience in Davenport on the last full day of campaigning before Tuesday's caucuses, the first vote of the 2012 presidential campaign.

    Paul wound up his 2012 bid as a contender to win in Iowa, where polls show him narrowly trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and appeared well organized for next week's New Hampshire primary.

    While he was encouraged by the crowds that turned out for him Monday, Paul noted in interviews that he was unsure whether he would be able to compete deep into the nominating campaign.

    Likewise, Paul said he considered his campaign as much a movement to rid the government of fiscal waste and excessive overseas commitments as it was an effort to seek the presidency. And he was just as ambivalent about whether he envisioned himself being president.

    "Who knows where I'll be or what I'll do or what contribution I'll be making?" Paul told ABC News after finishing a five-city tour of central and eastern Iowa by charter jet.

    While Paul does not plan to travel to the first-in-the-nation primary state until Friday, he said he has high hopes of competing well in New Hampshire. He is airing advertisements in South Carolina, the first Southern primary state, which holds its nominating contest Jan. 21.