Washington (CNN) - With his busy travel schedule and penchant for wading into heated national debates, Newt Gingrich has gotten plenty of presidential buzz.
But the former House speaker is doing more than just grabbing headlines: he's also starting to put in real legwork on the ground in Iowa, giving political insiders there plenty of reasons to believe he's finally serious about running for the White House.
On Friday, Gingrich will make his sixth visit to the state in recent months to attend the Iowa State Fair, a traditional stomping ground for presidential aspirants.
Gingrich plans to open the day at the Iowa Republican Party booth and sign copies of his book, "To Save America," an appearance sure to help the state party touch a number of potential voters as they seek to re-capture the governor's mansion and a handful of House seats.
And according to a GOP source in the state, Gingrich also has a meeting planned at the fair with several GOP donors.
After a morning dose of glad-handing and livestock-watching, he is slated to headline two fundraisers: One for Sen. Charles Grassley, who is seeking a sixth term in Washington, and another for the People United for Republican Sisters' Election (PURSE) political action committee, a group formed to assist female GOP candidates.
Gingrich's Friday swing will come on the heels of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's visit to the fair, scheduled for Friday. Another likely 2012 candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, will attend the fair later this month.