03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Republican Candidates Avoiding Iowa

As Democrats compete furiously for support throughout the nation's first presidential contest state, most Republican contenders have been bypassing Iowa, eschewing the meet-and-greet retail politics that have been the state's hallmark and putting at risk its claim for relevancy in the nominating process.

When Mike Huckabee delivered a speech on health care in Des Moines on Dec. 3, it was his first trip to Iowa in almost a month. When Mitt Romney held a town-hall-style meeting in Cedar Rapids on Nov. 30, it ended a stretch of 10 days without an appearance in Iowa. And those two are the GOP front-runners in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses.

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