July 4 Big-Time Campaign Day For 2012 Field

Fairs, rallies, parades! They’re everywhere a candidate wants to be and July 4 is the mother lode for voter-friendly events. The top candidates are all keeping busy schedules for the holiday and their plans say plenty about their broader strategy.

In one case, two candidates will directly overlap. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are both participating in a parade in Amherst, New Hampshire to commemorate Independence Day. New Hampshire is the center of Romney’s strength in the 2012 race and he enjoys heavy frontrunner status. Romney will also hit up a couple of other holiday events in the state, including another parade later in the day. For Huntsman, who is competing with many of the same moderate and establishment voters and donors, catching up on Romney in the polls there is crucial to scoring him some much-needed credibility.

Herman Cain will end his busy day in New Hampshire, throwing out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game, but he’ll start off in Philadelphia for a Tea Party rally with former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Firing up the grassroots is crucial to Cain’s candidacy and he needs to broaden his small donor base if he wants to make an impact in fundraising after a lackluster start.

Michele Bachmann’s presidential hopes rest on a strong showing in Iowa, where she was born and launched her campaign (albeit with a few hiccups). Not surprisingly, she’s digging in for the entire holiday weekend, hoping to capitalize on her momentum in the polls. She’ll be hitting her share of parades and local celebrations across the state.

Intersecting with Bachmann will be Newt Gingrich, whose campaign has lost most of its top staff. The two are both participating in the Clear Lake Independence Day parade. Rick Santorum is also expected to campaign in Iowa that day, where he will need a strong performance to stay in the race.

One exception to the July 4 rush: Tim Pawlenty, who has not released a public schedule for the holiday.