Since the beginning of the year, National Journal has tracked roughly 2,500 days that 18 presidential candidates have spent on the campaign trail. (George Pataki, Jim Gilmore, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee, who all posted limited public campaign schedules and/or missed ballot-filing deadlines in several states, did not make the cut for this analysis.) Events that candidates hold in their home states, or that the sitting senators hold in Washington, are not included in the Travel Tracker.
Listed in the table that follows is how many days each candidate spent in the first four primary and caucus states, as well as the March 1 Super Tuesday states, from New Year's Day through the holiday break:
Jindal may have dropped out the race more than a month ago, but he still tops all presidential contenders from both parties with a total of 70 days spent in Iowa. Santorum and Huckabee, the reigning champions in Iowa, also rank in the top four, but their chances of a repeat performance in 2016 appear slim. Ted Cruz, who has emerged as the favorite to win next February's caucuses, has begun to spend more time in the state, but is still only sixth in the GOP field. Rick Perry ended his campaign on Sept. 11, but his 26 days in the state still rates higher than four current candidates: Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich. And despite spending more time in Iowa than both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders this year, Martin O'Malley still lags well behind in the single-digits in every poll in the state.
With Lindsey Graham's exit, Chris Christie becomes the king of New Hampshire travel. The legwork does appear to be paying dividends for the New Jersey governor, as he's experienced a recent uptick in the polls and is picking up key endorsements. Two other candidates who are banking on a strong New Hampshire showing, Bush and Kasich, are also in the top five. Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul have split their time more evenly between the two early states. Fiorina ranks third in Iowa and fourth in New Hampshire, while Paul finishes sixth overall in both states. Trump is well ahead in the New Hampshire GOP primary polls, but has logged only 17 days in the state. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley have spent roughly the same amount of time in the state.
There's a major drop-off in the total amount of days spent in Iowa (588) and New Hampshire (457), compared to South Carolina (230), which is the third primary state for Republicans and the fourth for Democrats. Santorum and Huckabee lead the way, followed closely by six Republican candidates who have all campaigned between 15 and 18 days there this year. All three Democrats have spent about the same amount of time in South Carolina so far. The outcomes of Iowa and New Hampshire will play a major role in shaping South Carolina's primaries.