(CNN) - Bob Dole is calling Republican leaders in Iowa to make the case for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a longtime Dole ally in Washington and two Republican sources in Iowa who were among those contacted.
Dole, who placed first in the Iowa caucus in 1996 before going on to become the Republican nominee, is personally making the appeals to veteran activists who supported Dole's own campaign in the Hawkeye State.
The former senator from Kansas is painting Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, as the candidate with the strongest shot of beating President Barack Obama. He's making the case to the activists that pushing Romney to a win in Iowa would help preserve the legitimacy of the first-in-the-nation caucus.
The former Dole ally in Washington said the calls were not an extensive effort, but just calls to several of the former candidate's longtime supporters in the state.
Both Dole, who served as Senate majority leader, and his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, have come out in support of Romney.