Rick Santorum is logging miles in Iowa. Jeb Bush is putting in face time with New Hampshire's voters and New York's donors. And Bernie Sanders last week did what no other (official) presidential candidate had done yet: set foot in Wisconsin.
National Journal's Travel Tracker has compiled every campaign trip taken by 21 presidential contenders in 2015. That includes 16 Republicans—the 14 declared candidates plus soon-to-declare Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Gov. John Kasich—and five Democrats: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee.
Together, the 21 candidates have logged 953 days on 718 campaign trips in the past six-odd months. Unsurprisingly, they've put a huge focus on the states at the start of the primaries: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Just the first two on that list have hosted candidates for a total of 324 days campaigning thus far in 2015—almost one-third of all the field's campaign travel and more than the bottom 41 states combined.
By analyzing the candidates' itineraries, it's possible to see how candidates are hoping to push their way to the top of the ticket. Rick Santorum, who won the 2012 Iowa caucuses on a shoestring budget and with a shoe-leather campaign, has spent 20 days in Iowa and 13 days in South Carolina. That's more than any other candidate has spent in either state. But he has been to New Hampshire only once. Why? Santorum has a long history as a social conservative, and that carries more currency among Iowa and South Carolina Republicans than it does in New Hampshire. Mike Huckabee, another GOP candidate with social-conservative credentials, has been similarly scarce in New Hampshire, visiting only once so far this year.