06/20/2011 06:08 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2011

Late Returns: Newt's Slow To Re-Up In Iowa

Newt Gingrich said last week that he was feeling "liberated" now that nearly everyone who originally signed on to work for his campaign has abandoned him to go work on other, probably more successful campaigns. Well, it seems that he's also well on his way to being "liberated" from any expectation that he'll win in the Iowa caucuses.

Per Jason Clayworth, in the Des Moines Register Caucuses blog:

Prominent Iowa Republicans say they have seen no evidence that Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign has made efforts to hire a new Iowa staff since its entire paid crew abruptly resigned almost two weeks ago.

National campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond said last week that the campaign was searching for Iowa staff, but he declined to describe what specific efforts had been made or say what positions the team was seeking to fill.

Gingrich hasn’t visited Iowa since May 21, and no appearances are scheduled until the July 4 holiday.

“They’ve given the impression that they’re not a viable campaign here in Iowa,” said David Roederer, who was chairman of eventual nominee John McCain’s campaign four years ago during a time when the Arizona senator’s presidential bid was presumed dead because of fundraising problems. “I’m not saying it’s not, but that’s the image, the impression that they’re giving.”

Not to worry, though, because Gingrich plans to do some awesome stuff with the Facebooks and the Twitters, and Polk County Republican Chairman Ted Sporer thinks that this might just be the way to go:

Sporer, who is not aligned with Gingrich, says it’s not too late for a comeback. One factor at play: Iowans are seeing presidential campaigning transform, conducted in larger part via the Internet and other technologies, he said.

Sporer called Gingrich the smartest person in the race.

Burn on all the other, stupid candidates whose campaign staffs haven't deserted them en masse yet!

* * * * *

- John Bolton is mad at Jon Huntsman for putting "partisanship aside" and working for the Obama administration. [Politico]

- The Book Of Mormon: "Though the vast majority of Americans say they would vote for their party's nominee for president in 2012 if that person happens to be a Mormon, 22% say they would not, a figure largely unchanged since 1967." [Gallup]

- In other, Salt Lake City-related news, incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch is looking at an uphill battle to win re-election: "The poll by Dan Jones & Associates found only 38 percent of registered voters agree that it's important to re-elect Hatch in 2012 because of his seniority. Fifty-nine percent said after 36 years, it's time for someone new." (Surprisingly enough, the numbers for Utah's only Democrat, Representative Jim Matheson, are not bad.) [Deseret News]

- Here is some good advice for presidential hopefuls who get glitter-bombed. [Good]

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not? Also, please send tips to tv@huffingtonpost.com -- learn more about our media monitoring project here.]