Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - With the midterm elections now in the rearview mirror, potential presidential hopefuls no longer have the cover of campaigning for congressional candidates when visiting key presidential nominating states.
Instead, their White House ambitions will be in plain sight during their travels - and these Republicans will be making a more direct case as to why they deserve the GOP nomination in 2012.
According to a GOP source, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will make one of these high-profile trips December 16, when he keynotes the Spartanburg Republican Party's Bronze Elephant Dinner.
Gingrich has visited the same GOP-heavy area of South Carolina twice in recent months, and just last week he hosted a packed event for his advocacy group American Solutions in nearby Greenville.
The Spartanburg GOP has already hosted Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, both of whom are laying groundwork for presidential runs.