By Jack Fink

DES MOINES, Iowa (CBSDFW.COM) – Governor Rick Perry hopes his Iowa bus tour will ultimately lead to a victory lap.

Former Texas Republican Party chair — and Perry supporter — Cathie Adams believes the governor will do better than people expect. “As a matter of fact, I know how good Governor Perry is one on one, and he’s being doing small groups. Everyone knows now he’s not a star in the debates.”

A week from now, Iowans will judge whether Perry’s poor debate performances mattered.

Perry has crept back up from the single digits, and remains in fourth place in the polls behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and former house speaker Newt Gingrich.

UT Arlington political science professor Allan Saxe says Perry is facing an uphill battle. “It’s a slight possibility, very slight that he could come back and surprise everybody. That’s happened in Iowa in past years, but it’s very doubtful.”

Saxe says for Governor Perry to pull it off, he will have to have a solid organization in place that can get people to the caucuses.

Unlike a primary, there’s no early voting, and no voting during the day. “It’s all in the evening, and Iowa weather is very cold and unpredictable sometimes. You’ve got to have the cars, the buses, the organization to get people there.”

Saxe believes voters still have Bush and Texas fatigue, and that’s hurting Perry.

But Cathie Adams believes the Governor’s record in Texas is a plus. She says, “I still think that people will hopefully in the end look and say ‘here’s a record we need for America.'”

The Iowa caucus has sometimes surprised the political establishment.

Back in 2008, many people thought then senator Hillary Clinton had a strong organization there.  But it was then senator Barack Obama who beat her in the caucus… And he was able to do that by having a better ground game.

So organization will be key again this year.